In addition to giving foods their flavor appeal, salt, or sodium chloride, plays key functional roles in food production such as texture improvement, color enhancement and microbial control. Sodium also is an essential mineral that supports many body functions; however, excess sodium consumption can raise blood pressure and contribute to heart disease and stroke. More than 40 percent of sodium intake comes from 10 types of processed foods, including cold cuts, pizza, soup and savory snacks. With global health organizations and scientific bodies urging consumers to decrease daily sodium consumption, several food industry leaders are taking proactive measures to implement reduced-sodium initiatives.
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