Thursday, July 10, 2014

FDA set to act on sodium reductions in food

The FDA intends to issue voluntary guidelines for food producers to reduce sodium levels.

Today’s U.S. food supply has 35% more sodium per person than it did in the early 1900s based on Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion data.

It is important to note that sodium plays many functional roles in foods, including texture improvement, color enhancement and microbial control. Restoring these qualities when reducing sodium is challenge enough for food developers, but that is only part of the equation. Consumers will judge low-sodium products by their flavor, and that could make or break a product.

For example, in 2010, the Campbell Soup company announced it would lower the sodium content across more than half of its condensed canned soup line by as much as 45%—in some cases dropping totals from 800 mg of sodium per serving to 480 mg. The initiative earned widespread praise from constituencies ranging from public health advocates and government officials to members of the medical community. But the general consensus from consumers was a resounding "yuck". Just a year and a half later, facing sagging sales of its reformulated products, Campbell's reversed course and brought the salt back.

Bonnie: A perfect example for how difficult it is to change the public's taste buds when they have so conditioned to taste sweet, salty, and fatty! However, there are plenty of examples of companies that use spices to make foods wonderfully tasty! Trader Joes makes an olive oil potato chip that is higher in potassium than sodium.

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