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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Waleska Nishida, Ana Carolina Fernandes, Marcela Boro Veiros, David Alejandro González Chica and Rossana Pacheco da Costa Proença

The purpose of this paper is to compare the sodium content displayed on the labels of conventional processed food products (C) and of those with nutrition claims…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the sodium content displayed on the labels of conventional processed food products (C) and of those with nutrition claims suggesting the absence or reduced levels of nutrients (AR).

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional study analyzing the ingredients list, nutrition facts and nutrition claims on food labels. Subjects: all processed food products with added salt or additives containing sodium that were for sale in a large supermarket in Brazil from October to December 2011.

Findings

All 3,449 products were analyzed and categorized into 66 groups according to Brazilian legislation. The median of sodium content in the AR was 42.7 percent higher than in the C (p=0.007). In 33.3 percent of the groups there was difference in sodium content between AR and C (p < 0.05) and in 68.2 percent of these the sodium content was higher in AR. The variation range of sodium in products from the same group reached 2,905.0 mg in C and 1,712.0 mg in AR. Even when the median of sodium was lower in the AR, the minimum sodium values were lower in the C.

Originality/value

Comparisons of sodium content of conventional and AR processed food are scarce in the literature, especially covering all food for sale in a large supermarket. To the best of the knowledge, this is the first census making this comparisons in Latin America.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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