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Meat Sci. 2006 Sep;74(1):188-96. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2006.04.014. Epub 2006 May 5.

Reducing salt: A challenge for the meat industry.

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AllinAll Ingredients, 33 Lavery Avenue, Park West, Dublin 12, Ireland.


Intake of dietary sodium has been linked to hypertension and consequently increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The estimated cost of CVD to both the EU and US economies is €169B and $403B, respectively. Currently the daily sodium adult intake is approximately three times the recommended daily allowance (Ireland and UK) and therefore public health and regulatory authorities are recommending reducing dietary intake of sodium to 2.4g (6g salt) per day. Processed meat products comprise one of the major sources of sodium in the form of sodium chloride (salt). Salt has an essential function in meat products in terms of flavour, texture and shelf-life. Apart from lowering the level of salt added to products there are a number of approaches to reduce the sodium content in processed foods including the use of salt substitutes, in particular, potassium chloride (KCl) in combination with masking agents, the use of flavour enhancers which enhance the saltiness of products when used with salt and finally optimising the physical form of salt so that it becomes more functional and taste bioavailable. The ultimate goal of ingredient suppliers and meat processors is to produce reduced sodium meat products that consumers can enjoy as part of an ongoing healthier diet and lifestyle. This article reviews some of the technological aspects of reduced salt meat products and how the meat and food ingredient industries are responding to this current health issue.

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