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Two of Scotland’s leading food organisations, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland) have teamed up to help Scottish businesses cut the calories in their products and improve the nation’s health.

The move comes after FSS research found that the sweet treats sold in Scotland’s coffee shops, bakeries and cafés contained more than 450 calories on average. A whopping 85% of the 663 products sampled had more than 325 calories, with some passing the 1,600 mark.

To put that into context, the average recommended daily intake for a female is 2,000 calories.

So, to tackle the problem, FSS has agreed to be a Reformul8 partner in FDF Scotland’s Reformulation for Health (RFH) programme.

The RFH programme, which is funded by Scottish Government, supports food and drink manufacturers to make changes which support improvements to the national diet.

Evidence shows reformulation, for example by reducing portion size or calories, is one of the most effective ways industry can help improve dietary health. The RFH programme has already removed tonnes of salt and millions of calories from the Scottish diet.

One business working to reduce fat and calories is Cardowan Creameries, a Scottish company and Reformul8 partner that makes fats used by the baking industry. It has developed a 65% reduced fat pastry-and-cake fat that is more affordable than the original full-fat version.

As a Reformul8 partner, FSS will promote reformulation in Scotland through its website and social media, and signpost food manufacturers and suppliers to the Reformulation for Health programme. Support is free and available for small- and medium-sized business and both FDF members and non-members.

Joanne Burns, Reformulation for Health Manager, FDF Scotland, explained: “Reformulation can be a demanding and costly process for businesses to consider in these challenging times. We strive to offer solutions to make reformulation more achievable. We would be delighted to support the Scottish bakery sector and advise them as they explore techniques to reduce the calorie content in some of their products.”

Burns added that support is available to food manufacturers, pointing to the Reformul8 Challenge Fund which has already helped 45 organisations reformulate various products ranging from crisps to cakes and a Reformul8 toolkit which offers webinars and podcasts.