Strides in Sodium Reduction: A New FDA Proposal
Salt is responsible for the delicious impact of your favorite bag of chips, the elevated flavor of your favorite sweet treats, the memories of salty popcorn at the movie theater, and the comfort of a bowl of warm chicken noodle soup. Salt is incredibly universal and can be utilized for various products throughout the food industry.
Sometimes it is evident that salt is present, such as in a vibrant soy sauce, but often, it is hidden in our diets in places we would not expect. One of the reasons we may be accustomed to how much salt is present in our favorite foods is its unique ability to enhance other flavors. BBC Science Focus acknowledges that when used sparingly for sweet items, salt can reduce bitter notes while boosting the perception of sweet, sour, and umami. Adding more salt can suppress sweetness in savory items allowing the umami taste to shine through. Salt appearing frequently in food, often unbeknownst to consumers, has led to an overconsumption of sodium, raising significant concerns for organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization.
According to the FDA, Americans, on average, consume about 3,400 mg of sodium daily. However, dietary guidelines emphasize that less than 2,300 mg of sodium is ideal for daily consumption, resulting in a majority of people consuming an additional 1,000 mg of sodium in their diets, increasing the risk of hypertension, the leading cause of heart disease and strokes. Acknowledging this crisis, the FDA is taking the initiative to empower industry leaders to act as health heroes, leading the charge in sodium reduction. According to the World Health Organization, the implementation of sodium-reduction measures have the potential to save 7 million lives globally by 2030.
The proposal from the FDA would allow for salt substitutes that can enable numerous categories to reduce their sodium content. Many current standards of identity (SOIs) in the United States do not forbid salt substitutes from being used in place of salt for foods with SOI, making this a significant potential change in direction from the FDA.
Salt substitutes are outlined in the proposal as ingredients or a combination of ingredients used to replace some or all of the salt in a standardized food. With prominent organizations calling for all possible solutions to reduce sodium levels and the FDA providing them the flexibility to do so, finding a better solution for consumers without compromising on the flavors they know and love will be essential. This is where Sensient’s TrueBoost™ SensaSalt™ comes in, an innovation in taste technology that reduces sodium by 25% to 40%. It provides all the satisfaction of a full-sodium product while exhibiting the flavor attributes you want and diminishing undesirable ones. During sensory testing, SensaSalt™ even outperformed sodium when tasted side by side.
With Sensient’s array of salt and sodium alternatives, you can enjoy your favorite food and beverages in a way that’s better for your health while still pleasing your taste buds. Be a health hero and reach out to learn more about our salt and sodium alternatives. Let’s be taste buds!