Le Petit Paris bakery lower salt content


Bread, a staple food consumed daily by millions, plays a crucial role in our diet. However, the salt content in this traditional product has sparked debates among nutritionists, lawmakers, and bakers. Here at “Le Petit Paris” in Winter Garden, Florida, led by Stephan Martin, we have taken a proactive stance on public health and baking innovation by reducing the salt content in our bread to 13g per kilo of flour. This is below the health recommendation of 15g and well beneath the 18-20g commonly used in the industry. This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of this approach, the solutions we’ve implemented to counteract the disadvantages, and the importance of national and global awareness about excessive salt consumption, particularly in industrial products.

Benefits of Reducing Salt in Bread

  1. Improving Public Health
  • Reduction in High Blood Pressure: Excessive salt consumption is closely linked to an increase in high blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Reducing salt in bread helps lower these risks, contributing to better public health.
  • Better Glycemic Index: Lower salt content allows for optimized fermentations, improving the glycemic index of bread. This is particularly beneficial for people with diabetes, allowing better management of blood glucose levels.
  1. Enhanced Nutritional Value
  • Preservation of Pigments and Nutrients: Salt can have an oxidizing effect during kneading, reducing the availability of vitamins and pigments in bread. By reducing salt, we preserve these essential nutrients.
  • Increased Fermentation: Less salt means slower and more complete fermentation, enhancing the taste and nutritional aspect of our products.
  1. Technological Ease
  • Reduction of Excessive Yeast Use: Reduced salt content allows for better utilization of endogenous yeast, decreasing the need for additional yeast.

Disadvantages and Our Solutions

  1. Impact on Taste
  • Loss of Flavor: Reducing salt can initially lead to a loss of taste. However, we’ve discovered this can be offset by two methods:
    • Prolonged Fermentation: Natural and long fermentation allows for more complex aromas, compensating for the reduced salt. Our bakers use the “Respectus Panis” methods to ensure slow and natural fermentation.
    • Use of High-Quality Flours: Flours rich in minerals and aromas also contribute to tastier bread, even with less salt.
  1. Influence on Texture and Structure
  • Modification of the Gluten Network: Salt plays an important role in forming the gluten network, crucial for bread structure. To counteract this effect, we have implemented specific techniques:
    • Temperature and Hydration Control: By rigorously controlling fermentation temperature and precisely adjusting dough hydration, we maintain optimal texture.
    • Adapted Kneading Time: Kneading duration has been adjusted to compensate for the lesser presence of salt, ensuring a good gluten network formation.
  1. Product Preservation
  • Decreased Shelf Life: Salt acts as a natural preservative. Reducing its content can make bread more prone to staling. Here are the solutions we’ve adopted:
    • Use of Pre-ferments: Using pre-ferments like sourdough improves not only the taste but also the shelf life of bread.
    • Baking Process Mastery: Well-controlled baking helps seal moisture in the bread, prolonging its freshness.

A Need for National and Global Awareness

The issue of salt consumption goes beyond an artisan bakery. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), excessive salt intake is one of the leading contributors to non-communicable diseases globally, such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

A mindset shift regarding salt consumption in bread could have significant repercussions on global public health. It is crucial for governments, consumers, and producers to be aware of the dangers associated with high salt consumption. Awareness campaigns and public health policies should be implemented to encourage salt reduction not only in bread but in all industrial food products.

Large Companies and Industrial Products

Unfortunately, the reality is that the food industry often uses large amounts of salt for various reasons:

  • Flavoring: Salt is a powerful flavor enhancer. Industrial products, often lacking natural flavors, are heavily salted to improve taste.
  • Preservation: Salt acts as a preservative, extending the shelf life of products on supermarket shelves.
  • Economy: Salt is a cheap ingredient that allows manufacturers to increase flavor without significant additional cost.

This excessive salt usage is not without consequences for public health. Consumers, often unknowingly, consume amounts of salt well beyond daily recommendations, increasing their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The Commitment of “Le Petit Paris”: An Inspiration

The approach of “Le Petit Paris” to reduce the salt content of its bread to 13g per kilo of flour is more than just a commercial choice. It is a commitment to the health of our customers and a contribution to public health improvement. We hope to inspire other bakers and food producers to follow our example. Meaningful change can only happen with a collective awareness of the importance of reducing salt consumption.


Reducing salt in bread undoubtedly presents challenges, but the benefits for public health and the nutritional quality of products far outweigh these efforts. At “Le Petit Paris”, we’ve implemented innovative strategies to maintain the quality and flavor of our breads while lowering their salt content. We call for national and global awareness of this public health issue, in opposition to certain practices of the food industry that continue to excessively use salt. Together, let’s take a step towards a healthier future.