SaltTrim proved successful in the US after coming to sale in October 2005, spurring the natural ingredients developer to make it available on the European market this month amid increasing attempts across the industry to cut salt content. The UK Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) says that a resident in the western developed world consumes between 10g and 12g a day, when it is advised to consume only 6g. Because of its health risks, consumers are becoming increasingly cautious when considering their diets, and so salt reduction is important within the food industry to maintain sales and meet regulatory guidelines. SaltTrim enables manufacturers to use up to 50 per cent less salt and to combine this with potassium chloride, or other low sodium products used as a substitute to salt, without spoiling the taste and mouthfeel of the product. The company claims that while other products aim to block the bitter, metallic taste of potassium chloride, SaltTrim adds back much of the taste and texture of salt - as well as masking the unfavourable tastes. No one from Wild was available to comment on what proprietary technology was used to develop SaltTrim. The formula comes in a water-soluble powder form that can be further processed by manufacturers. It is temperature-stable and allergen-free and comes in different versions, described as flavoured and natural flavour. Wild said SaltTrim can be used in frozen dishes, tinned food, soups, sauces, salad dressings and tomato juice as well as substantially reducing the high salt content in salty snacks, popcorn, bread and cereals. Processed foods have been criticised as being the main culprit in consumers eating too much salt, contributing to 75 per cent of people's salt intake according to the UK Food Standards Agency. Excess salt consumption carries health risks. Scientists say high salt intake is responsible for increasing blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe and costs the EU economy an estimated €169bn per year. The food industry has been reformulating products to cut down salt content. Last week, CASH announced that the average salt level of ready meals on sale in the UK had reduced by 45 per cent over the last four years. This meant that 84 per cent had already reached the UK Food Standards Agency's 2010 targets for salt content. Still, salt remains a vitally important compound in food manufacturing, in terms of taste and preservation. In processed meat products, for example, salt is involved in activating proteins to increase water-binding activity, improves the binding and textural properties of proteins, helps with the formation of stable batters with fat, and also extends shelf-life with its anti-microbacterial effects.