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UNITED KINGDOM -- In a move that U.S. retailers may likely copy, Wal-Mart-owned Asda in the United Kingdom said it is removing salt from its entire range of canned vegetables. As a result, customers will consume 168 metric tons less salt each year.
Asda customers can now buy sliced carrots, baby sweetcorn, and garden peas without any added salt. The supermarket says the removal process, which started in May 2005, will be completed by the end of July 2006.
Asda maintained that contrary to popular belief, salt is not needed as a preservative in the canning process. "Heating and sealing the contents of a vegetable can does exactly that," the company said in a statement.
"From marrowfat peas to potatoes, green beans to kidney beans, the removal of salt from all our tinned 'veg' is great news for the health of customers. What's more they have never tasted so good," said Asda's head nutritionist Sue Malcolm.
The removal of salt from Asda's canned vegetables is part of ongoing campaign called the Asda Food Pledge. The retailer has said it is committed to making all its own label food and drink healthier, with no compromise to the price, taste, or quality of the product.
In January Asda's entire range of Smartprice economy food was reformulated to make it more nutritious. The supermarket significantly reduced the amount of sugar, salt, and fat in economy products like soups, beef burgers, biscuits, and ready-to-serve meals.