Independent Consultant, Rebecca Harter, discussed sodium and sugar reduction considerations in an article published in Natural Products Insider. Whether reduction is achieved by direct replacement, lowering formulation levels or the utilization of other ingredients for function and flavor, it requires experience and expertise across multiple disciplines.
Sodium and Sugar Reduction Initiative Considerations
Published in Natural Products Insider
James Van Fleet is quoted with the truism, “Output always equals input.” As such, the food industry is a custodian of the health of billions worldwide, delivering processed foods to the global marketplace. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports processed foods are responsible for more than 70% of sodium intake, driving the per-person average of 3,400 mg sodium per day, a level almost 50% higher than the 2,300 mg sodium per day recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).
Regarding sugar, the average U.S. consumer’s annual consumption of two pounds 200 years ago grew to 123 pounds per year in 1970 and 152 pounds per year in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is nearly four times the updated recommendation for sugar intake.
Whether sodium and sugar reduction are achieved by direct replacement, lowering formulation levels or the utilization of other ingredients for function and flavor, the work will require experience and expertise across multiple disciplines that many food companies no longer retain or can no longer afford. New labeling laws and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance have stretched internal resources. Food safety must be held as a top priority, which further demands expertise in food chemistry, ingredient interactions, quality, regulatory compliance, microbiology, manufacturing processes and packaging. As projects progress, sensory, analytical and shelf-life testing also will be needed.