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J Dairy Sci. 2011 Mar;94(3):1605-15. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3782.

Sodium content in retail Cheddar, Mozzarella, and process cheeses varies considerably in the United States.

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1
Dairy Research Institute, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA.

Abstract

Reducing the sodium content in cheese is expected to contribute to reducing the overall intake of sodium by US consumers. The purpose of this study was to measure the sodium levels in cheeses that are most commonly purchased by US consumers in the retail market, including brand and private label. A secondary purpose of the study was to generate data that can enable the dairy industry to adopt best practices regarding sodium levels in cheeses. The sodium content of a total of 1,665 samples of Cheddar (650 samples), low moisture part skim (LMPS) Mozzarella (746 samples), and process cheese singles (269 samples) from 4 geographical regions were collected over a period of 3 wk, and were analyzed over a 1-mo period. Process cheese contained the highest mean level of sodium (1,242 mg/100g), followed by string cheese (724 mg/100g). Across Cheddar cheese forms and brands, the mean analytical sodium was 615 mg/100g, with 95% between 474 and 731 mg/100g; label sodium ranged from 600 to 800 mg/100g (mean 648 mg). Across all LMPS Mozzarella forms and brands, the mean analytical sodium was 666 mg/100g, with 95% between 452 and 876 mg/100g; label sodium ranged from 526 to 89 3mg/100g (mean 685 mg). Across all process cheese forms and brands, the mean analytical sodium was 1,242 mg/100g, with 95% between 936 and 1,590 mg/100g; label sodium ranged from 1,185 to 1,740 mg/100g (mean 1,313 mg/100g). These findings demonstrate that manufacturers tended to be conservative with their reporting of sodium on labels. Manufacturers need to reduce variability to better target desired sodium levels, which is an opportunity for better process control, and will enable them to label sodium more accurately.

PMID:
21338828
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2010-3782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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