Cargill Inc. on Tuesday rolled out a new initiative to help food and beverage manufacturers increase the nutritional quality of food that is aimed for children.

Key to Cargill’s new initiative is a website launched Tuesday,, which is aimed at food companies and the issues they face in reformulating products.

Reformulation is a tricky process: While strides in health need to be made, taste can’t suffer or product sales will fall.

The packaged food industry — a prime customer base for Cargill’s food ingredients division — has been under increasing pressure in recent years to cut fat, sugar and salt from their products.

The sugar and fat issue has been particularly acute in the children’s food market, as obesity rates among children and teens have tripled in the past three decades.

Cargill, the Minnetonka-based agribusiness colossus, makes ingredients that allow for salt reduction, lessen the need for sugar, and reduce fat or calories.

“We believe we are uniquely placed to make a difference in this,” Laura Daly, Cargill’s childhood nutrition marketing leader, said in a Web news conference.