Are Your Snacks Ready to Meet the FDA’s New Sodium Guidelines?

The words “LESS SALT” on wooden blocks surrounded by salt granules.

Americans are eating too much salt, and the FDA has issued a new call for food manufacturers to reduce sodium. Here’s what the FDA wants and how your snack brands can meet the challenge.

Americans have a real weakness for the pleasing taste of salt. Those with a “salt tooth” consumed around 3400 mg of sodium a day in 2021 – 1100 mg over the FDA’s suggested daily intake – while the Agriculture Department seconded the need to stay below the 2300 mg a day cap.

The “maximum taste vs maximum health” conflict has long been one of the biggest compromises for consumers who had to focus less on one if they wanted to optimize the other. The more health-conscious would pass by the many packaged and prepared foods in the aisles where the majority of American salt intake is found.

It was traditionally a loss either way for many customers and companies. Buyers felt the negative impact on their personal health if they chose to indulge in their favorite (but salty) foods. Businesses felt the sting in their profit margins from those who chose to forego sodium-heavy choices.

Salt levels in processed foods have moved into a new industry spotlight that makes the “great taste vs good health” issue more pressing than ever. Learn more about why sodium is a problem and how MicroSalt® can help manufacturers comply with the new recommendations.

New FDA sodium guidance for the food industry

The final version of the “Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals” was released in October 2021. Its primary aim is to improve the health of the US population by outlining a set of goals that manufacturers of processed, packaged, and prepared foods could aim for over the next two and a half years. Here are some of the document’s key points:

  • Over 70% of Americans’ total sodium intake is from sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food preparation.
  • 40 years of public health efforts to reduce salt intake have struggled to succeed.
  • The FDA seeks to increase the number of healthy food choices open to Americans since the population is struggling to meet healthy intake levels due to sodium-dense manufacturing processes.
  • Progress should be made in such a way that consumers can gradually adjust to less salt in their foods.
  • Salt reduction should occur without unbalancing other key ingredients of a food product such as fat content or sugar levels.

These FDA guidelines are voluntary for the time being, however, there’s no telling if or when they’ll become rules. It’s important for food manufacturing companies to take swift action toward compliance to avoid a future where they could be fined by the FDA and left behind by consumers.

One thing the FDA guidance doesn’t recommend is specific methods and technologies for sodium reduction. This can leave manufacturers that are trying to reduce the sodium in their products stranded back at square one. This is where learning more about MicroSalt® and considering it as a beneficial food manufacturing tool becomes an indispensable step.

How MicroSalt® can help manufacturers meet the FDA guidelines

Reducing salt in your products, keeping the FDA happy, and ensuring consumers no longer have to choose between flavorful food and feeling good is possible. MicroSalt® is salt evolved – a product backed by patented technology that makes salt particles 100-times smaller with no added salt substitutes or bitter aftertaste.

Our product is all-natural salt, yet it offers 50% less sodium by weight. Our micro-sized particles are constructed around a crystalline matrix that dissolves virtually immediately and our taste buds recognize them with a higher saltiness flavor with less salt. 

This means manufacturers can cut the traditional salt level in their food by half and pass all the flavor profile panels as usual. One study by North Carolina State University’s Sensory Service Center saw MicroSalt® manage a 55% reduction in sodium content without compromising on flavor compared to traditional applications.

The FDA’s guidelines call for progress toward less sodium in foods to happen gradually to allow consumers to adjust. This is more than adequately met by adding MicroSalt® to the production mix – there’s no adjustment necessary when a 50 percent sodium reduction tastes as good as the previous level ever did.

FDA compliance leads to further financial gains and savings

“50% less salt” is a statistic that looks great in advertising and on the front of any product. It creates a high-visibility attraction for the 75% of Americans who want less sodium in their food and helps the 97% who underestimate or don’t even know their current sodium intake.

Using MicroSalt® won’t require altering any of your current sodium-focused machinery. It comes already optimized for use in every food manufacturing technique and is particularly ideal for producers of dry snack foods. The micro-sized salt particles provide superior adhesion to foodstuffs and work best on any dry topical surface application.

The world wants less sodium in their lives, and playing your part in reducing consumer salt consumption is a threefold victory. It keeps your product in line with industry guidelines, makes for a healthier, happier population, and relieves an $18 billion healthcare burden on the economy. Taking that next vital step requires finding a partner who truly appreciates the science of salt.

Contact MicroSalt® today with any questions

Our team strives to create a new food industry norm where good health doesn’t come second to great taste. MicroSalt® won the P&G Alumni Network’s 2021 Star Entrepreneur Award. We’d love to take part in making your products the best they can be.

Our food technology experts include a Chief Medical Officer on our board of advisors, so you can feel confident we can help you create food that you can be proud of and your customers will enjoy. Simply contact us via our message page call 1-877-825-0655 to learn more.

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