The changes will support the development of a healthier food supply by offering the flexibility to replace salt in standardised foods to reduce the sodium intake of consumers


The proposals by the FDA are intended to improve the health of consumers by gradually minimising their sodium intake. (Credit: Marek from Pixabay)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suggested changes to the standards of identity (SOIs) for foods that contain salt to allow the use of safe and suitable salt alternatives.

The proposed rule dubbed “Use of Salt Substitutes to Reduce the Sodium Content in Standardized Foods” is intended to support a healthier food supply. It will offer flexibility to enable to industry innovation in the production of standardised foods to bring down sodium content.

According to the FDA, the proposals can improve the health of consumers by gradually minimising their sodium intake and enhancing the nutrition.

FDA commissioner Robert Califf said: “Today’s action is another step forward in our efforts to improve nutrition and reduce chronic disease by providing manufacturers another tool to lower the use of sodium in food production. This approach may help reduce Americans’ sodium intake and lower their risk of hypertension, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

“Creating a healthier food supply, a key priority in the FDA’s nutrition work, has the potential to improve Americans’ health and reduce preventable diet-related diseases and deaths.

“Reducing sodium in the food supply may also advance health equity—unfortunately, hypertension and other diet-related diseases disproportionally impact underserved communities.”

In a separate development, the FDA issued a draft guidance with recommendations on how and when to use Dietary Guidance Statements on the label of food products.

The draft recommendations ensures that the label statements promote good nutrition, offer more consistency in labelling, and aid consumers in making informed decisions.

The guidance aligns with the FDA’s goal of lowering the burden of chronic disease and enhance health equity through better nutrition.

In October 2021, the US health regulator released guidance that finalised short-term voluntary salt reduction targets in more than 160 categories of packaged and restaurant-prepared food.