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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #221309

Title: The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Sodium in Foods

item Pehrsson, Pamela

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2008
Publication Date: 10/22/2007
Citation: Pehrsson, P.R. 2007. The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Sodium in Foods. Salt Conference – Getting to 2,300, Oct. 22, 2007, Washington, DC.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sodium in foods primarily comes from food processing (77%) but also from salting at the table, home cooking, and inherent food sodium. Excessive sodium intake in the U.S. is a public health concern. Comprehensive data on the sodium content of the U.S. food supply is essential to assessing levels of intake for the population. Trends in sodium reduction by the food industry (e.g., soups, prepared entrees, and snack foods) highlight the need for USDA monitoring of multi-ingredient, commercially prepared foods. Industry-supplied data, analytical or calculated, supplement the analytical database and manufacturer's information on ingredient changes, and reformulations are critical to keeping nutrient profiles for these foods current. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA generates the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) and other Special Interest Databases which provide the scientific foundation for food composition data in the United States. Under the USDA-NIH National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP), Key Foods (important sources of nutrients which contribute, collectively, more than 75% of the total U.S. intake) and critical nutrients (nutrients of public health impact, e.g., sodium) are analyzed from a nationally representative sampling. Over time, the foods continue to be monitored for changes. Analyses are performed under USDA-supervised contracts and with a rigorous quality control program; for sodium analysis, brand names of commercial products expected to be high in sodium are weighted according to market share either in the initial sampling or in the data compilation. To date, sodium values for all of the major contributors of sodium have been updated.