What role does sodium play in processed food products? Is it added directly to products, or do other critical ingredients contain sodium, thus adding to the total amount found in the product?

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First you should know more than 75 percent of the sodium in the average American diet comes from salt added to processed foods (based on American heart association) other impotent food ingredient with sodium are monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sodium benzoate and etc (1) ... which added for different purposes like perservant and flavorant. of course sodium exist in foods naturally (vegetable,grain,fruit,meat and etc..) as one of the most important biological Ion we need sodium as an critical nutrition in every day diet(1.2 to 1.5 gram ) of course most of us consume more than adequate need in our diet (about average 3.4 gram in USA) (2)(3)

Sodium plays many roles in our foods (based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ):

1- Mainly To Enhance Flavor (Adds a salty taste,Boosts flavor balance and can enhance the sweetness of sugary items, Masks “off notes,”such as bitterness and strange tastes, that can result from food processing, Makes some types of processed foods more palatable)

2- To Preserve Freshness (Increases shelf life, Helps prevent growth of bacteria and other disease-causing agents)

3- To Improve Texture and Appearance (Makes the product seem thicker or fuller ,Enhances color and hue, Helps retain moisture in processed meat products as a trade-off for saturated fat,Stabilizes texture, allowing bread to rise and cheese to stick together ,Prevents unwanted chemical changes to other ingredients in many baked items) (4)

Top Sources of Sodium

Breads and rolls ,Cold cuts and cured meats , Pizza ,Poultry, Soups, Sandwiches, Cheese, Pasta dishes, Meat dishes, Snacks.(5)

For more information checkout American heart association , Medlineplus.

  • your welcome i made few changes
    – M.shadow
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 15:02

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