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Rise in sodium intake in US over last decade despite health officials' call for reduction

Innovative solutions for reducing sodium content of the food supply are needed to help meet public health goals

Chicago — (April 22, 2013) – Sodium intake around the world is well in excess of physiological needs (1) and public health authorities agree that chronic excess sodium intake can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke (2). However, despite recommendations to lower sodium consumption over the last decade, actual intake continues to rise.

Rising Sodium Intake

Research supported by Tate & Lyle was presented today at the American Society for Nutrition Experimental Biology (3) conference in Boston which indicates that in the United States, sodium intake has been on an upward trend—increasing by 63 mg/day every 2 years from 2001 until 2010. The study, commissioned by global food ingredient provider Tate & Lyle, used data from the What We Eat in America (WWEIA)/National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to assess overall sodium intake and sources of sodium in the diets of those two years of age and older from 2001 to 2010.

Based upon this recent analysis, the largest contributor of sodium to the diet was grains and grain products (i.e., breads, salty snacks); followed by meat, poultry, fish and mixtures; vegetables; and milk and milk products. Sodium intake from meat, poultry, fish and mixtures increased the most while sodium from grains remained consistent.

"This research shows us that despite public health efforts to decrease sodium intake, actual intake has continued to increase over the last 10 years and solutions to help decrease dietary intake are greatly needed," states the study's lead author, Victor Fulgoni, PhD, Senior Vice President of Nutrition Impact, LLC, a food and nutrition consulting company.

Sodium Reduction Innovation: SODA-LO™ Salt Microspheres

Several studies have shown that a reduction in salt intake is one of the most cost-effective interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in both developed and developing countries (4,5). Innovative solutions for reducing sodium content in the food supply may help meet public health goals.

SODA-LO™ Salt Microspheres, an ingredient offered by Tate & Lyle for food manufacturers, is a salt-reduction ingredient that tastes, labels and functions like salt because it is real salt. It can reduce sodium by 25-50 percent in food applications that are some of the largest contributors of sodium to the diet such as bread and salty snacks. It does this through its patent-pending technology that turns standard salt crystals into free-flowing, hollow salt microspheres that increase the perception of saltiness on the tongue.

"Meeting consumer taste preferences by using effective food ingredients to lower sodium content while maintaining the foods' perceived salt intensity is one strategy for reducing global sodium intake," said Priscilla Samuel, PhD, Director of Global Nutrition for Tate & Lyle.

"Tate & Lyle is committed to delivering innovative ingredients to help consumers reduce their sodium intake and meet their nutrition, health and wellness needs every day. Our company is committed to investing in innovation and research, and in developing ingredients—like SODA-LO™ Salt Microspheres—that can be incorporated into a wide variety of great tasting food and beverage solutions."

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