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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABANK FOR FOOD COMPOSITION

Location: Nutrient Data

Title: USDA Monitors Levels of Added Sodium in Processed and Prepared Foods

Authors
item Holden, Joanne
item Pehrsson, Pamela
item Nickle, Melissa
item Haytowitz, David
item Exler, Jacob -
item Showell, Bethany
item Williams, Juhi
item Thomas, Robin
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Lemar, Linda -
item Gebhardt, Susan -

Submitted to: Procedia Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2012
Publication Date: May 29, 2013
Citation: Holden, J.M., Pehrsson, P.R., Nickle, M.S., Haytowitz, D.B., Exler, J., Showell, B.A., Williams, J.R., Thomas, R.G., Ahuja, J.K., Lemar, L.E., Gebhardt, S. 2013. USDA monitors levels of added sodium in processed and prepared foods. Procedia Food Science. 2:6-67.

Interpretive Summary: The objective is to provide a progress report for efforts by the Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) to monitor sodium in processed and prepared foods frequently consumed by the U.S. population. Recent concerns by the U.S. public health community about the intake of sodium by Americans have led ARS, USDA to develop a plan to monitor the levels of sodium in highly consumed prepared and processed foods. USDA’s Food Surveys Research Group (FSRG) identified more than 100 food categories which, together, contributed more than 50% of the sodium found in the U.S. diet. NDL scientists worked with FSRG to identify highly consumed multi-component processed foods which fell into each of the categories. For each food (e.g., cheese pizza) NDL used market share data to identify the predominant brands and types of foods (e.g., frozen cheese pizza, restaurant pizza) to be monitored for changes in the sodium level over time. Periodically, nutrient values for frequently consumed foods will be updated by chemical analysis or label checks. Estimates will be compared to existing values in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). Since 2010, about 140 foods have been sampled and analyzed by NDL contractors. NDL will continue to generate new sodium data which will be disseminated in the successive releases of the SR. Accurate and current data for sodium in processed foods will support the assessment of changes in sodium in foods as well as the assessment of sodium intake by the U.S. population in the years ahead.

Technical Abstract: The objective is to provide a progress report for efforts by the Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) to monitor sodium in processed and prepared foods frequently consumed by the U.S. population. Recent concerns by the U.S. public health community about the intake of sodium by Americans have led ARS, USDA to develop a plan to monitor the levels of sodium in highly consumed prepared and processed foods. USDA’s Food Surveys Research Group (FSRG) identified more than 100 food categories which, together, contributed more than 50% of the sodium found in the U.S. diet. NDL scientists worked with FSRG to identify highly consumed multi-component processed foods which fell into each of the categories. For each food (e.g., cheese pizza) NDL used market share data to identify the predominant brands and types of foods (e.g., frozen cheese pizza, restaurant pizza) to be monitored for changes in the sodium level over time. Periodically, nutrient values for frequently consumed foods will be updated by chemical analysis or label checks. Estimates will be compared to existing values in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). Since 2010, about 140 foods have been sampled and analyzed by NDL contractors. NDL will continue to generate new sodium data which will be disseminated in the successive releases of the SR. Accurate and current data for sodium in processed foods will support the assessment of changes in sodium in foods as well as the assessment of sodium intake by the U.S. population in the years ahead.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014