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31 May 2017


Salt Reduction Policy: Opportunities for Healthy Food Products (Current Issue No. 2847 Full Ed.)

 The salt intake of the Thai population is now double our daily requirement, and this consumption has caused physical maladies, leading to risk of hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Eventually, medical treatments to correct this problem incur quite large expenses.

The issue has been recognized by the government, compelling them to introduce measures to encourage producers' salt reduction through food reformation; later, they may possibly enact a law to control the proportion of salt in food processing, as well as perhaps impose a tax on excess salt content. In other countries, the introduction of low-salt food processing methodologies has become an efficient means to cut the salt intake of their populations. To change this harmful consumption behavior, a set of new initiatives may be necessary, starting with public information and then the enactment of laws to control the inclusion of salt in food processing.

KResearch expects that a 10-percent cut in salt utilization, replaced by healthier substitutes, might increase food processing costs by 1.4 percent, p.a., for Thai food producers that are now using high salt content. Such an increase would equal a total cost of around THB1.5 billion per year, versus the total market turnover of high salt content food products currently at THB107 billion per year.

Amid greater health consciousness, plus the necessities of toward low-salt diets, food processors may capitalize on this situation by exploring healthier food products with low-salt content. Such efforts would not only add market value to their merchandise, but also be aligned with the government's salt intake control policy.

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