The Victorian Salt Reduction Innovation Grants of up to $25,000 have been launched in association with VicHealth.
Managing director of FIAL Dr Mirjana Prica said the grants would help firms tap into rising consumer demand for more healthy products.
“While there is increased demand for lower salt food options, smaller food manufacturers often don’t know where to go for external advice on reformulation,” Dr Prica said.
“We’ve combined these grants with our online portal that connects food manufacturers to experts in food innovation, technology and business development.”
To support businesses to reformulate their foods, FIAL has created a Building Healthier Foods Platform, providing a fast and cost-effect pathway to connect food manufacturers with an expert to support their project. Experts are also available to assist with grant applications.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said around 75% of salt in Victorians’ diet comes from processed foods, which is why reformulation is critical.
“We know Victorians eat far too much salt, putting them at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes,” Ms Rechter said.
“Salt kills six times more Victorians than the annual road toll but if we reduced our salt intake by just three grams — which is less than a teaspoon — per day, we would save 800 lives from stroke and heart attacks.
“Reformulation is so important in reducing population salt intake, and these grants are a great way to empower smaller companies to create healthier, lower salt products.”