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Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake; Henney JE, Taylor CL, Boon CS, editors. Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010.

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Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States.

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Appendix DSalt Substitutes and Enhancers

TABLE D-1Selected Examples of Proposed Salt Substitutes

SubstituteApplicationsComments
Potassium chloride (KCl)Many foods, including cheeses,a breads,b and meats;c may be mixed with NaCl in up to a 50:50 ratiocBitter to many people;c many patents to reduce KCl bitterness exist;d because potassium intake of the U.S. population is low, increased intake of potassium may benefit somee but could harm certain subpopulations (e.g., those with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications)f
Lithium chloride (LiCl)None: toxic although almost perfectly salty
Calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4)Few foodsSomewhat salty but with many off-tastes;g bitter tastes of MgSO4 are usually perceived only at high levels;h CaCl2 can cause irritations on the tongueh
Sea saltMany foods, also used in salt shakersUsually contains substantial amounts of sodium chloride; benefits of use in reducing sodium consumption are unclear
Salts with altered crystal structureSome foodsPorous and star-shaped structures, created by manipulating the salt drying process, allow greater salty taste with smaller amounts of salt;i particularly useful in applications where salt is used on the surface of food productsj

TABLE D-2Selected Examples of Proposed Salt Enhancers

IngredientApplicationsComments
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other glutamatesMany foods; can replace some saltaNo pleasant taste in itself, but enhances salty tastes; imparts the taste of umami; MSG contains sodium; other glutamate salts such as monopotassium glutamate or calcium diglutamate may further reduce sodium; synergizes with 5′-ribonucleotides;b may replace bitter blockingc and oral thickeningd characteristics; often contained in hydrolyzed vegetable protein and yeast extractsa
Yeast extracts and hydrolyzed vegetable proteinSome foodsOften contains MSG, but is seen as a “natural” alternative to MSG use; meaty and brothy tastes limit potential usesd,e
Nucleotides including inosine- 5′-monophosphate (IMP) and guanosine-5′-monophosphateSome foodsImparts the taste of umami; found to act synergistically with glutamates to enhance salty tastes in some foodsd,f
Amino acids, especially arginine and related compoundsNot knownL-Arginine is reported to enhance the saltiness of foods with low to moderate levels of salt; practical uses are not clearg
Dairy concentratesMany foodsReported to allow moderate sodium reductions in a variety of productse,h
Lactates (potassium lactate, calcium lactate, and sodium lactate)Few foodsMay enhance the saltiness of NaCl, but not widely used; calcium lactate can impart a sour tasteb
Herbs and spicesMany foodsHerbs and spices provide other flavoring characteristics and may, for some people, help alleviate blandness following salt removale,i,j
Compounds that reduce bitterness including adenosine- 5′-monophosphate, DHB (2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid), lactose, sodium gluconate, and mixtures for use in combination with potassium chlorideMany foodsDesigned to mask bitterness of potassium chloride or reduce bitterness from other food components that are usually masked by salt; allow partial reduction of total sodium contentb,e,k,l
Mixtures of NaCl substitutes and enhancersMany foodsProprietary mixtures are produced by many companies; mixtures consist of a number of ingredients such as non-sodium salts, yeast extracts, potassium chloride, sodium, and sodium gluconatee,m,n,o

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Copyright © 2010, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK50965

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