The Food Standards Agency has defended its decision to raise allowable salt levels in some foods.
Earlier this week the FSA published voluntary salt reduction targets for food manufacturers and retailers across 85 food categories.
However, health groups criticised its decision to increase some targets from levels proposed last year, with tomato ketchup increasing from an original proposal of 1.8g of salt per 100g to 2.4g and unfilled savoury biscuits increasing from 1.3g to 2.2g. An FSA spokeswoman said that a number of salt targets had increased due to technical reasons, food safety and consumer acceptability, following consultation with the industry.
She added: "This is an ongoing process and the targets will be reviewed in 2008."
The Food and Drink Federation welcomed the targets. FDF deputy director general Martin Paterson said: "At first glance the proposals appear more realistic than the 2005 proposals."