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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


FERRANTE, Daniel et al. Feasibility of salt reduction in processed foods in Argentina. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp.69-75. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To assess an intervention to reduce salt intake based on an agreement with the food industry. METHODS: Salt content was measured in bakery products through a national survey and biochemical analyses. Low-salt bread was evaluated by a panel of taste testers to determine whether a reduced salt bread could remain undetected. French bread accounts for 25% of the total salt intake in Argentina; hence, reducing its salt concentration from 2% to 1.4% was proposed and tested. A crossover trial was conducted to evaluate the reduction in urinary sodium and blood pressure in participants during consumption of the low-salt bread compared with ordinary bread. RESULTS: Average salt content in bread was 2%. This study evaluated low-salt bread containing 1.4% salt. This reduction remained mostly undetected by the panels of taste testers. In the crossover trial, which included 58 participants, a reduction of 25 milliequivalents in 24hour urine sodium excretion, a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 1.66 mmHg, and a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of 0.76 mmHg were found during the low-salt bread intake. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that dietary salt reduction was feasible and well accepted in the population studied through a reduction of salt content in bread. Although the effects on urinary sodium and blood pressure were moderate, a countrywide intervention could have a greater public health impact.

Keywords : Sodium, dietary; food habits; nutrition policy; bread; blood pressure; Argentina.

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