With new federal sodium guidelines for food manufacturers and restaurants on the way, what’s a salt producer like Morton supposed to do? Try to find salty-tasting replacement minerals or other ingredients that don’t involve increased sodium.
Morton, which will be working on what it terms “the next generation of reduced sodium solutions” at its new food lab in Elgin, Ill., is trying to prepare itself for the Food and Drug Administration’s new guidelines. Already, since sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure and strokes, a product cannot be labeled “healthy” if it has more than 480 milligrams of sodium per serving for individual foods, according to the FDA. The average person in the U.S. consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium each day—1,000 more than the FDA recommends and almost 2,000 more than advised by the American Heart Association.
Wal-Mart, ConAgra Foods, and Subway restaurants have pledged to reduce sodium, according to Food Safety News. For Morton, the shift means developing new salts and salt substitutes for food companies, so customers won’t miss the taste in reduced-sodium products as the new guidelines kick in.
Morton spokeswoman Denise Lauer says solutions could include finer-grained salt, which delivers “a rapid salty sensation” so less can be used. The company already offers salt substitutes made with potassium chloride and a Lite Salt Mixture of sodium and potassium chloride.