OMAHA, NEB. — The World Health Organization on May 5 released a new set of global benchmarks for sodium levels in more than 60 food categories. The WHO recommends daily intake of 5 grams of salt (2 grams of sodium) or less. Most consumers eat double that amount, putting them at greater risks of heart diseases and strokes that kill an estimated 3 million each year, according to the WHO.

The benchmarks target a range of processed and packaged food products, including processed and packaged bread, savory snacks, meat products and cheese. The benchmarks are part of national and regional efforts to reduce salt/sodium consumption globally by 30% by 2025.

NuTek Natural Ingredients, Omaha, has pledged support for the new benchmarks. The company offers potassium salt that provides a 1:1 substitute for sodium in food.

“The new WHO sodium benchmarks are a good tool for manufacturers to reformulate products with lower sodium and ensure food safety requirements are met,” said Barry Knudson, chief operating officer of NuTek Natural Ingredients. “This is a significant step forward for global health and consumers’ understanding the importance of sodium reduction as part of a healthy lifestyle.”