Sodium reduction challenges and facilitators in breads and processed poultry products: an industry perspective
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Excessive consumption of sodium has been shown to cause high blood pressure (Garriguet, 2007). The breads and processed meat categories were identified as the highest contributors to sodium consumption within the Canadian population. The goal of this research is to identify the challenges associated with reducing sodium in bread and processed poultry products within the food industry in Canada. Results are based on 10 interviews with industry experts as well as a review of relevant industry documents related to industry’s sodium reduction policies. Reaching Health Canada’s target of 25 percent sodium reduction has been challenging for industry. Reducing sodium is only one of industry’s priorities, which also include producing a product that is marketable to the Canadian public in terms of taste, shelf life, and aesthetics. Sodium reduction labeling policies set out by Health Canada have further restricted industries ability to communicate to the public products where sodium reduction has been achieved but fall short of the 25 percent target set by Health Canada. More time is required to drive public desire for sodium reduced products and for the industry to reduce sodium. More research is also required for consumer friendly, cost effective sodium replacement alternatives.