Salt (sodium chloride), a substance essential for life processes, is the second most-used food additive. It is added to foods as a flavoring or flavor enhancing agent, a preservative, or an ingredient responsible for desired functional properties in certain products. Excessive dietary sodium is believed to contribute to hypertension and development of cardiovascular disease which afflicts ca. 60 million Americans. During the last decade the food industry has responded to the dietary needs of Americans concerned with consuming sodium by providing processed foods free of added salt or with reduced amounts of sodium and other foods in which some or all of the salt has been replaced by a salt substitute. Common salt substitutes, including potassium chloride, certain herbs, spices, organic acids, autolyzed yeast products, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein products alone or in combination, if used properly, can result in products that are consumer-acceptable. Commercially available foods with less than the normal amount of salt include natural cheeses, pasteurized process cheeses, cottage cheese, butter, buttermilk, ice cream, cured meat products, fresh sausages, cereal products, vegetables, salad dressing, smoked fish, fish sauces, soy sauce, and miso.

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