Last updated on 7 July 2004

Survey of baked beans and canned pasta

Food Survey Information Sheet 57/04

Summary

The Food Standards Agency has recently carried out a survey to look at the levels of a limited range of nutrients, including salt, fat and sugar in a variety of baked beans and tinned pasta products.

Of the products included in this survey, an adult portion of standard baked beans contains on average 2.7g salt, which equates to 45% of the recommended maximum daily intake of salt per day for an adult.

Healthy eating baked beans contain about 60% of the amount of salt and sugar in standard baked beans.

For standard baked beans, beans and sausages, standard spaghetti and children's pasta shapes categories, the product with the highest salt content had between two and three times the amount of salt as the one with the lowest salt content.

The salt, fat and sugar content of standard baked beans has not changed since they were last analysed 15 years ago.

Key points

  • 94% of the baked beans and tinned pasta products included in this survey contained 1.5g or more of salt in a portion, which equates to 25% or more of the target maximum daily intake for an adult.
  • 16% of the baked beans and tinned pasta products included in this survey contained 3g of salt or more in an adult portion, equivalent to 50% or more of the target maximum daily intake for an adult.
  • The salt, fat and sugar content of standard baked beans have not changed since they were last analysed 15 years ago.
  • For a child aged 4-6 years of age, a portion of most types of standard baked beans would provide a 25% or more of the target maximum daily salt intake for children of that age.
  • Baked beans are a good source of fibre, with an adult portion contributing around 8g towards the recommended adult fibre intake of between 12g and 24g per day.
  • On average, healthy eating baked beans contain about 60% of the amount of salt and sugar in standard baked beans.