The global high prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease has raised concerns regarding the sodium content of the foods which we consume. Over 75% of sodium intake in industrialized diets is likely to come from processed and restaurant foods. Therefore international authorities, such as the World Health Organisation, are encouraging the food industry to reduce sodium levels in their products. Significant sodium reduction is not without complications as salt plays an important role in taste, and in some products is needed also for preservation and processing. The most promising sodium reduction strategy is to adapt the preference of consumers for saltiness by reducing sodium in products in small steps. However, this is a time-consuming approach that needs to be applied industry-wide in order to be effective. Therefore the food industry is also investigating solutions that will maintain the same perceived salt intensity at lower sodium levels. Each of these has specific advantages, disadvantages, and time lines for implementation. Currently applied approaches are resulting in sodium reduction between 20-30%. Further reduction will require new technologies. Research into the physiology of taste perception and salt receptors is an emerging area of science that is needed in order to achieve larger sodium reductions.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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