FDA Proposes Rule Change to Help Food Industry Reduce Sodium Content in Foods
- 28-Mar-2023 3:34 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
US: Manufacturers could soon be allowed to replace salt with salt substitutes in foods like cheese, canned tuna, and chocolate. The proposed rule aims to reduce the sodium content in these types of food products.
Consuming excessive amounts of salt has been linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Unfortunately, 9 out 10 people in the United States consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day, and most of that overconsumption is due to processed foods and restaurant fare.
In 2021, the FDA set new voluntary guidelines for food manufacturers, food service operators and chain restaurants to reduce salt levels by about 12% in packaged and take-out foods. This move was made to combat high salt consumption in the United States and is part of a larger global effort. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if all countries follow suit, an estimated 7 million lives could be saved worldwide by 2030.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a new rule to help manufacturers meet certain standards by 2021. This rule could potentially have an impact on over 20 foods, like cheese, frozen peas, chocolate, margarine, and mayonnaise.
If finalized, the proposal would change the Standards of Identity (SOI), which defines the ingredients for specific foods that must be present and those that are optional. So, in other words, if this rule is approved it could lead to major changes in "standardized foods".
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a new rule that would enable the food industry to lower sodium content in both standardized and non-standardized foods. While the proposed rule does not include specific salt substitutes that manufacturers can use, these compounds must adhere to the same FDA labelling requirements as any other food ingredients. This will ensure that consumers are informed of what is going into their food and can make healthier decisions.
Salt substitutes are an alternative to regular table salt, containing Potassium Chloride or other minerals and having lower sodium levels than regular salt. While some studies have suggested that they may reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack, those with kidney conditions or taking certain medications should not consume them. Additionally, the safety of these products for pregnant women and children is still unclear.