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Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 612; doi:10.3390/nu9060612

Know Your Noodles! Assessing Variations in Sodium Content of Instant Noodles across Countries

1
The George Institute for Global Health, The University of New South Wales, P.O. Box M20 Missenden Rd, Sydney 2006, Australia
2
School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia
3
Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Building 32, University of Wollongong Campus, Wollongong 2522, Australia
4
Non-Communicable Diseases, International SOS, NCD Asia Pacific Alliance, Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 5YE, UK
5
National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reducing Dietary Sodium and Improving Human Health)
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Abstract

Reducing salt intake is a cost-effective public health intervention to reduce the global burden of non-communicable disease (NCDs). Ultra-processed foods contribute ~80% of dietary salt in high income countries, and are becoming prominent in low-middle income countries. Instant noodle consumption is particularly high in the Asia Pacific region. The aim of this study was to compare the sodium content of instant noodles sold worldwide to identify potential for reformulation. Analysis was undertaken for 765 instant noodle products from 10 countries using packaged food composition databases of ultra-processed foods compiled by the Global Food Monitoring Group (GFMG) and national shop survey data. Sodium levels were high and variable, within and between countries. Instant noodles in China had the highest mean sodium content (1944 mg/100 g; range: 397–3678/100 g) compared to New Zealand (798 mg/100 g; range: 249–2380 mg/100 g). Average pack size ranged from 57 g (Costa Rica) to 98 g (China). The average packet contributed 35% to 95% of the World Health Organization recommended daily salt intake of <5 g. Forty percent of products met the Pacific Island (PICs) regional sodium targets, 37% met the South Africa 2016 targets, and 72% met the UK 2017 targets. This study emphasises a need for stronger regulation and closer monitoring to drive rigorous reformulation of salt in ultra-processed foods. View Full-Text
Keywords: salt; sodium; salt reduction; ultra-processed food; instant noodles; blood pressure; non-communicable disease (NCDs); burden of disease; nutrition transition; regulation; salt targets salt; sodium; salt reduction; ultra-processed food; instant noodles; blood pressure; non-communicable disease (NCDs); burden of disease; nutrition transition; regulation; salt targets
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Farrand, C.; Charlton, K.; Crino, M.; Santos, J.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, R.; Ni Mhurchu, C.; Webster, J. Know Your Noodles! Assessing Variations in Sodium Content of Instant Noodles across Countries. Nutrients 2017, 9, 612.

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