This Week's Top Story


This Week's Other Stories:

100 Years Ago, Congress Defined Butter. And Then... by Dick Groves

Bipartisan House Bill Would Require USDA To Call Federal Order Hearing

Study Finds 29% Of All Pre-Grated Cheeses Adulterated With Palm Oil

GUEST COLUMNISTS: Unique Case Creates Uncertainty for
Dairy Processors, by Jen Pino-Gallagher, M3 Insurance

Westby Cooperative Creamery Well-Positioned As Leader In Organic Fermented Dairy Products

PREVIOUS COLUMNS: A Disappointing Guidance From FDA by John Umhoefer, WCMA

Champion Immigration Reform as Workforce Solution by Rebekah Sweeney, WCMA

Lots Of Uncertainty Over 2023 Milk Prices byDr. Bob Cropp

Consensus On Key Issues Can Get the Federal Order Reform Party Started by John Umhoefer, WCMA

Safety Never Takes a Vacation
by Jen Pino-Gallagher, M3 Insurance

Grocery Store Sticker Shock to Change Little in Dairy Aisle, Industry by Rebekah Sweeney, WCMA

Cheese With A Sprinkle Of Construction Dust? by Jen Pino Gallagher, M3 Insurance

The Dreams Like Idaho by John Umhoefer

Is Your Business Continuity Plan Missing A Key Ingredient
by Jim Brunker, M3 Insurance

How To Demonstrate Food Safety Culture, by Brandis Wasvick, Blue Compass Compliance

Sharing Your Message: Communicating To Employees About The COVID-19 Vaccine, Jeff Christensen, Director of Communication
M3 Insurance

Cheese Makers, Cheese Marketers Discuss How To Manage the Pandemic by Dan Strongin

Boots On The Ground
by Jim Cisler

As FSMA Takes Full Effect, Partnership Opportunities Abound To Improve Food Safety Practices by Larry Bell and Jim Mueller


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FDA Proposal Would Allow Salt Substitutes In Standardized Food

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said today that it will soon propose to amend its standards of identity to permit the use of salt substitutes in foods for which salt is a required or optional ingredient.

The proposed rule would provide manufacturers with flexibility and facilitate industry innovation to reduce sodium in standardized foods, FDA stated.

Standards of identity typically describe what ingredients a food must contain and what is optional, FDA noted. They may describe the amount or proportion of ingredients or components. Some standards also prescribe a method of production or formulation.

There are more than 250 standards of identity and, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), about 37 percent of those standards are for dairy products, including numerous standards for cheeses and cheese products.

Salt substitutes are currently used in many non-standardized foods in the US, but most FDA standards do not permit the use of salt substitutes, the agency pointed out.

Manufacturers of standardized foods have few options for reducing the sodium content of their products, FDA noted. If salt is a required ingredient, they may generally use less salt. If salt is an optional ingredient, they may either use no salt or less salt. However, they cannot replace salt with another ingredient unless the standard permits the use of another ingredient. Most standards do not provide for a substitute for salt.

FDA’s proposed rule would use a “horizontal” approach for standards, under which a single rule would apply to multiple standards across several categories of standardized foods.

Specifically, the proposed rule would amend the 80 standards that specify salt as a required or an optional ingredient.  Because these 80 standards are referenced in other standards, 140 of the 250 standards currently established for a wide variety of foods could be affected.

The proposed rule does not list permitted salt substitutes but defines them as safe and suitable ingredients used to replace some or all of the added sodium chloride and that serve the functions of salt in food. The extent to which salt can be replaced depends on the ability of a salt substitute to replace the functions of salt in food without compromising food safety and the characteristics of the food, FDA noted.

Where salt is permitted in FDA standards, the use is not described uniformly in the provisions of the standards. This is largely due to the standards having been established with different structural formats. The lack of uniformity is also due to the use of salt differing across different standardized foods. In some foods, salt is a mandatory ingredient, and in


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