Health experts currently disagree on the ideal level of sodium consumption by humans. Recommended amounts range from 500 to 1,500 milligrams per day. Either way, these amounts are well below the estimated average daily consumption of 3,000 milligrams. Salt, the major source of sodium in the U.S. diet, is increasingly being linked to health problems ranging from high blood pressure to heart attacks.
Food processors are under pressure to reformulate products and re-label packages to help consumers understand what they're eating. The new products may called low-sodium, very low-sodium, or sodium-free depending on how the ingredients match up to the Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
Packaged Facts predicts that the following foods segments are most likely to reformulate and re-label their products because of the new emphasis on sodium:
- Canned vegetables
Check with your food processors on how they are handling the shift to lower-sodium foods. Some firms may be selling more alternative seasonings such as herbs and spices. Other firms may be using a variety of ingredients to modify taste and texture while still satisfying the U.S. palate that appreciates salt. Either way, your agency may find work helping these companies promote their new offerings.[Sources: Turner, Jeannie. Mining the Possibilities, PreparedFoods.com; Market Trend: Low, Reduced and No Sodium, Packaged Facts]