December 17, 2020
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a final guidance, Use of an Alternate Name for Potassium Chloride in Food Labeling, to advise food manufacturers of its intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the name “potassium salt” in the ingredient statement on food labels as an alternative to “potassium chloride” to better inform consumers that it is a salt substitute.
The final guidance is part of the FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy to reduce the burden of chronic disease in the United States through improved nutrition, by empowering consumers with information and supporting and fostering industry innovation to develop and promote healthier food options.
Changes to the final guidance from the draft include providing guidance on use of the alternate name “potassium salt” rather than “potassium chloride salt,” for potassium chloride.
Potassium chloride, in some instances, can be used as a partial substitute for sodium chloride (referred to as “salt”) in food processing and manufacturing. Providing this enforcement discretion may help facilitate consumers’ choices to decrease their sodium consumption, if manufacturers use potassium chloride as a substitute ingredient for some sodium chloride. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, sodium is over-consumed by the U.S. population, while potassium is under-consumed. Too much sodium can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
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