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The hue and cry about food safety is getting louder and the number and severity of foodborne illness cases is being highlighted in the media – we can expect more regulatory activity, requiring (hopefully) more good science to back up regulations so they will be effective. New methods for preventing imports from reaching consumers have not reduced the number of foodborne illnesses – which are increasing, at least in the U.S., and presumably in other countries as well. At the same time, the obesity issue is also gaining speed, with research being reported on the effectiveness of possible taxing and other monetary issues to steer food policy. Add to that, the issues of fat rearrangement, sugar elimination and salt reduction have increased the amount of science needed – so there's plenty of science to be done.

Salt Reduction in Fermented Vegetable Products—a Good Idea?

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  2. Salt Reduction in Fermented Vegetable Products—a Good Idea?
  3. Eat Your Veggies . . . with Care

A great deal of data is presented in “Salt Reduction in Vegetable Fermentation: Reality or Desire?”, suggesting that a relatively small reduction in sodium chloride content could slash new cardiac disease, myocardial infarction, and cardiac deaths significantly. According to the paper, “The use of Ca and K for the fortification of foods with mineral elements is authorized in the European Union (Directive 2002/46/CE). Thus, an eventual Na substitution with K and Ca in foods is possible and would have a beneficial effect on consumer health. Recently, the European Union (EU) has developed a Natl. Salt Initiative (June 2009), whose conclusions on measurements to decrease salt intake in the EU (June 2010) were passed to the Commission (European Council 2010). Later on, the Commission asked the EU Member States to implement national nutritional policies with the aim of achieving such a goal.” Bread is generally accepted as a major source of salt in the diet in much of the world, but pickled vegetables, such as olives, sauerkraut, cucumbers, kimchi, and the champion salt-containing product, capers, adds concentrated amounts of salt. Significant work on microbiological aspects of the use of Ca and K salts indicate that there is a range of acceptable substitutions, and that some sensory attributes may be improved with their use. But the products are somewhat different—is the sodium reduction a significant reason to make a change? R1095–R1100

Eat Your Veggies . . . with Care

  1. Top of page
  2. Salt Reduction in Fermented Vegetable Products—a Good Idea?
  3. Eat Your Veggies . . . with Care

In the paper titled “Frequency and Correlation of Some Enteric Indicator Bacteria and Salmonella in Ready-to-Eat Raw Vegetable Salads (REVS) from Mexican Restaurants”, the authors noted that the incidence of Salmonella in ready-to-eat raw vegetables served in restaurants or as RTE vegetables from the supermarket is not readily available data. The researchers undertook a study to identify the level of contamination of these products. The incidence was sufficiently high for the researches to arrive at this conclusion: “It is a first report on Salmonella presence for REVS from Mexico. REVS are probably an important factor contributing to the endemicity of Salmonella-related gastroenteritis in Mexico. Prevention and mitigation of this risk requires incorporation and consistent application of correct agricultural and manufacturing practices throughout the vegetable production process, from crop to retailer, and to restaurants. Proper raw vegetable product handling, sanitation practices, and processing practices need to be promoted and implemented. In addition, the implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) strategies both at the crop production and restaurants level could prevent any pathogenic microorganism from reaching the consumer. M1201–M1207