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Guidance Note 36 Best Practice on the Use of Potassium-based Salt Substitutes for the Food Industry

Monday, 25 January 2021

Salt is an essential nutrient used in the body for fluid and electrolyte balance and normal cellular functions.

Salt is naturally present in most unprocessed foods at low levels. Salt and various additives which contain sodium e.g. sodium nitrite, monosodium glutamate etc. are also added to food during processing for various sensory, technological and preservation purposes which enhance both the safety and quality of foods (EFSA, 2005). Salt is also added to food by consumers, both during cooking and/or at the table for seasoning and flavouring purposes.

Since 2003 the Irish food industry has improved its manufacturing practices to avoid unnecessary use of salt in processed foods. In parallel the industry has also reformulated 2 processed foods to gradually reduce salt contents.

As part of that process of reformulation, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has previously advised against the use of potassium-based salt substitutes. Find out more in this report.

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