US Companies Cut Back on Salt
Your Kraft products may not taste quite the same in these months to come, and that might be a good thing. As part of the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI) gaining momentum across America, Kraft has revealed plans to reduce sodium levels by an average of 10% in all of their North American brands over the next two years.
“We are reducing sodium because doing it is good for consumers, and, if done properly, it is good for business,” Rhonda Jordan, President of Health & Wellness for Kraft said during a media statement. “A growing number of consumers are concerned about their sodium intake and we want to help them translate their intentions into actions.” More than 1,000 different Kraft product types will see formula’s change, eliminating more than 10 million combined pounds of salt, and will include cuts of up to 20% in some foodstuffs.
Companies volunteer to be NSRI members and work with food manufacturers and the restaurant industry to lower the salt levels in commonly consumed products. “It is a positive step for health reasons,” says Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA).
According to NSRI, “nearly 80% of the salt we consume comes from processed, packaged and restaurant-prepared food. Single items often contain more than a day’s worth of sodium, the component of salt that affects blood pressure. The salt in the food – not on the food – is the problem. Only the manufacturers and restaurants can address it. Reducing salt in processed food can help reduce everyone’s risk of hypertension that may lead to disease and stroke.”
Labeling, Dr. Chaudry says, is also impacted. “Order of ingredients on the label and nutritional information may change and the labels have to be approved again by either the USDA or internally by the manufacturers themselves. It is an opportunity to add a halal logo, if the product meets halal certification standards, since labels are being redone.” Campbell’s Soup Company and ConAgra Foods were some other food producers that recently began cutting sodium content.