Background: In recent decades, a decrease of sodium chloride (NaCl) salt in diets such as
breads has raised public attention for control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developed
and developing countries. Bread is an important food in public diets in Iran as well as many other
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess salt (NaCl) content of the Iranian traditional breads and to
estimate daily salt intake through consumption of these foodstuffs. The study was carried out in five
major cities of Iran in 2016.
Methods: In total, 237 traditional bread samples (including Sangak, Taftoon, Lavash and Barbari)
were collected and the sample NaCl content was assessed using published methods by the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Association of Official Analytical Chemists
(AOAC). Values were compared to Iranian standard limit values.
Results: Salt content of the traditional breads ranged from 0.03 g to 2.99 g per 100 g of dry weight
(D.W.). Overall, 49.2% of the traditional bread samples in Tehran and 47.2% of the traditional bread
samples in other cities exceeded the standard limit. Since 93.8% of Sangak breads from Tehran met
the salt limit criteria of national standards, this traditional bread includes a more favorable nutritional
status compared to that other breads do.
Conclusion: Awareness of salt level in breads and monitoring salt use in bakeries can help update
food policies and improve public lifestyle. A decrease in the ratio of salt is recommended as the major
nutritional intervention for the prevention and control of NCDs.