12 January - 20 June 2016

Review on sugar reformulation programme and wider reformulation programme including salt, calories and saturated fat published by PHE

Public Health England (PHE) have published a new report on sugar reformulation entitled “sugar reduction and wider reformulation programme – interim review”. The report, a follow on from the first report in March, discusses progress made on sugar reduction, detailing actions PHE has taken since this, covering the period April to September 2017.

Public Health England (PHE) have published a new report on sugar reformulation entitled "sugar reduction and wider reformulation programme – interim review".  The report, a follow on from the first report in March, discusses progress made on sugar reduction, detailing actions PHE has taken since this, covering the period April to September 2017.  It outlines the next steps for the next 6 months including its wider reformulation programme of reducing calories, salt and saturated fat.

It notes that a report due to be published in March 2018, will provide a detailed assessment of progress made towards the 5% reduction in sugar, including metrics and analyses that will be used to evaluate performance across the industry.  In this current report, PHE state that it is also “considering the scope and timeline for future work on product ranges explicitly targeted at babies and young children.”

The soft drinks levy (a lower rate of 18 pence per litre for drinks with a total sugar content between 5 to 8g per 100ml and higher rate of 24 pence per litre for drinks with a total sugar more than 8g per 100ml) is now set out in legislation contained within the Finance Act 2017, and will be enforceable in April 2018.   In autumn, it is expected that secondary legislation will be developed which will focus on a specific definition of milk and other elements in the levy.  It is noted in this current report that "hot milk-based drinks (for example flavoured coffees and syrups or powders used in or to make milk-based drinks, these drinks are now includes as part of PHE’s sugar reduction and wider reformulation programme." It is reported that “the current ambition for milk-based drink is a 20% reduction by 2020” taking into account naturally occurring lactose in these products and will be applied to all sectors of the industry including retailers, manufacturers and food eaten out. Category-specific meetings are planned to discuss milk-based drinks and pure juice.  PHE is continuing to engage with businesses providing food consumed out of home.

The interim review discusses the wider reformulation programme in particular calorie reduction, salt and saturated fat.  Regarding calorie reduction PHE state that they are reviewing evidence based around children’s calorie consumption and will published an evidence based document in the first quarter of 2018.  Once published, they will consult with all sectors of industry, including trade bodies and health-based non-government organisations, to develop guidance and timelines. 

Regarding salt target, the reports indicates that all sectors of the industry are due to meet these by the end of 2017. However further steps will be considered to reduce salt levels in foods and reduce salt intake, taking into consideration industry’s progress to achieving 2017 targets.  The review, under saturated fat reformulation, states that "the government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition draft report on saturated fat is expected to be published in 2018 for public consultation.  The finalised report will be used to review and inform our future work on saturated fat reduction."

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in re-formulating products to provide more healthy options including low salt, low sugar versions and using pre- and probiotics.  Using RSSL can help speed up your development cycle considerably.  Download RSSL’s Sugar Reduction Guide.  To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

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