Jamie Oliver, who took school caterers to task for dishing up Turkey Twizzlers on the grounds that they were bad for children's health, has himself been criticised for putting high levels of salt in his own range of pasta sauces.
According to research published by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which examined the salt content of 190 jars, pots and packets of pasta, the highest salt product was in Jamie Oliver's olive and garlic sauce, with 3g per 100g, or 5.3g of salt per recommended 175g portion of sauce. That is equivalent to 88% of an adult's recommended limit of 6g of salt a day in just one serving and roughly the same as eating more than 10 packets of ready salted crisps. His other tomato sauces also contained high amounts of salt, at 3g per portion of fiery tomato and chilli, 2.8g per portion of red onion and rosemary, and 2.6g per portion of tomato and basil.
Cash also criticised manufacturers for inconsistent labelling and portion sizes, making it difficult for consumers to work out which sauces were least salty. "Salt puts up our blood pressure, which is the major risk factor for strokes, heart failure and heart disease," said Graham MacGregor, chairman of Cash. "It is shocking to see so many products still so poorly labelled and high in salt."
A spokesman for Oliver said the chef's team had been working on a lower-salt recipe since the spring. "These are now in production and will be available for supermarkets to order in from early December. The new spicy olive, garlic & tomato sauce, for example, will have 0.8g of salt per 100g as opposed to 3g [currently]. All of the new pasta sauces will be within the FSA 2012 guidelines."
WeightWatchers had the two lowest-salt products in the survey: its roasted garlic pasta sauce contained just 0.1g of salt per 100g, while its napoletana sauce had 0.15g of salt per 100g.
So, how do your favourite sauces fare? Check out the data below and let us know if you can visualise it or mash it up.
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