Petitioner NuTek Food Science - which has patented technology to tackle the metallic aftertaste of potassium chloride, a popular salt replacer – argues that using the term ‘potassium salt’ would ‘demystify’ the ingredient for consumers and help the industry achieve the government’s dual goals of lowering sodium and increasing potassium intakes.
Survey data shows that consumers believe potassium salt to be ‘more appetizing,’ ‘less processed,’ ‘safer to consume,’ and ‘healthier’ than the ‘chemical-sounding' potassium chloride, said NuTek president Brian Boor.
“A statistically significant number of consumers lack familiarity with the term potassium chloride and often mis-associate it with chlorine or other chemicals... ‘Potassium salt’ more closely reflects reasonable consumer expectations of the ingredient and more accurately describes the basic nature of the ingredient.”
ABA: Potassium chloride is integral to sodium reduction efforts, but name puts shoppers off
In comments filed with the FDA, the ABA noted that potassium chloride “is a mineral that is mined from natural deposits in the earth, in a similar manner as sodium chloride (salt) is mined,” and is “integral” to industry sodium reduction efforts.
However, it added: “The word ‘chloride’ is confusing to consumers as it sounds like chlorine and therefore has a chemical connotation. We know that the chloride ion in potassium chloride or sodium chloride has none of the properties of chlorine, and therefore this is potentially misleading to consumers.
“The name ‘potassium salt’ as proposed in this petition avoids this confusion while appropriately and accurately describing the ingredient in terms that are understandable and recognizable to consumers.”
Read the comments on the NuTek petition HERE.
(To date, the CSPI, Unilever, the ABA, Westin Foods, Monogram Foods, and FDMR have backed the petition, while the Salt Institute opposes it (click HERE). An anonymous commentator has also opposed it on the grounds that it was self-interested and potentially confusing to consumers (click HERE).
Read the comments on the FDA's voluntary sodium reduction targets HERE.