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Question About Low Sodium Claim


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#1 aescroggins

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 06:11 PM

Hi,

We currently have a product which meets all the criteria for a "low sodium" claim and we do put this on the front of our packaging.  However, this product belongs to a product category that is typically high sodium and as a result our product is generally considered to not have enough flavor.  We are considering putting a statement as part of the cooking directions such as:

"Optional: for increased flavor add 1/2 tsp of salt" or something along those lines.  Since we would be wording it as something that is "Optional" would this be misleading to our customers?  Does anyone know whether if we use the "low sodium" claim can we not put a suggestion like this on the packaging that would make the product no longer low sodium?  Any help on this would be appreciated!

Thanks!



#2 MWidra

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 09:35 PM

Your low sodium claim is based on what the product is at the time of packaging, not after the consumer has cooked it.  So if you want to advise people that adding seasonings (which could include salt) can enhance the flavor, it does not change the properties of the product.  Note that this is not telling people how much or what to add, only that they can season to taste. 

 

FDA only appears to care about what's in the package, not how it changes if the consumer dumps the entire salt shaker into it.

 

You can always say that your product is low sodium, and that the flavor can be enhanced with the addition of your favorite seasonings, or something like that.  That way you don't turn off the low sodium people, but hint that people can add what they want to jazz it up.  Who knows, your product may be the next thing that Sriracha is added to.  :)

 

Martha


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#3 aescroggins

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 03:15 PM

Hi Martha,

 

Thank you for the response.  I agree with what you are saying.  One reason why I was a little hesitant was we have some dry mix products that have specified cooking instructions calling for adding an egg, 2% milk, ect. to make the product.  We previously included "low fat", and "fat free" claims on some of these because the dry mix itself does not contain any fat.  However, after adding the egg and 2% milk required to make the final product, each serving of the final product contained more fat than is eligible for a claim like this.  I sent FDA an information request outlining this information and this was their Response: In order to correctly label your product "lowfat" the term "lowfat" must pertain to the finished product that would be consumed by the consumer. So the answer would be no, your product would not be considered lowfat. 

 

I understand how these two situations are different- one having only one set of instructions that require the addition of certain ingredients and for my question above about an optional customer suggestion.  I just wanted to check with others to make sure that we would be alright if we decided to suggest adding salt or other seasonings.

Thanks!

Anna






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