A ‘Pinch’ of Realism for Sodium Reduction Strategies
by Karen Nachay
Sodium intake guidelines as well as the reduced sodium levels in processed foods must be realistic if consumers are going to purchase the products, said experts at the session “Sodium Reduction: Striking the Right Balance,” on Monday, July 19.
Providing an industry perspective, Richard Black, Vice President of Global Nutrition for Kraft Foods, said there are several approaches that food manufacturers can take to reduce sodium. These are setting a target as a percentage for sodium reduction, setting a target for a specific level of sodium intake, and setting a target to remove a specific amount of sodium over time. Kraft’s goal is an average of 10% reduction of sodium across its portfolio to be achieved over the next two years. This will be done by examining the fundamentals on the mechanisms for salty taste, mitigating off flavors, examining new food safety systems that rely on natural materials other than sodium, and using texture-building systems that ensure the mouthfeel and eating experience are unchanged, reported Black.
Food companies must be concerned with removing “the maximum amount of sodium possible from the foods they make, which means prioritizing efforts to achieve the greatest reductions across a unique portfolio of foods,” said Black.