KANSAS CITY — Food and beverage manufacturers now have more reason to promote and increase the amount of potassium in their products. The amount of potassium, which the Food and Drug Administration lists as a nutrient of public health significance for the general U.S. population, will appear on the Nutrition Facts Panel of all U.S. retail products in the coming years.
The F.D.A. also has set a new recommended daily intake (R.D.I.) for potassium, but the change may affect whether or not food companies may achieve such claims as “good source” or “excellent source” of potassium.
The F.D.A.’s final rule on the Nutrition Facts Panel appeared in the May 27 issue of the Federal Register. The final rule requires the declaration of vitamin D and potassium. The compliance date is July 26, 2018, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and July 26, 2019, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.
Adequate potassium intake is beneficial in lowering blood pressure, according to the F.D.A.
The F.D.A. finally is recognizing the value of potassium and vitamin D in prepared foods, said Bill Ludlum, chief operating officer of Morre-Tec Industries, Inc., Union, N.J.
“The effect on food will be great as it benefits a more fit population, who by the nature of exercising diminishes potassium as a general consequence,” he said.
The F.D.A. will give potassium a R.D.I. of 4,700 mg. Currently it has a daily reference value (D.R.V.) of 3,000 mg.
“The existing D.V. (Daily Value) for potassium was set in 1993 based on the 1989 Diet and Health report and no longer represents the most current recommendations for potassium intake,” the F.D.A. said.
The R.D.I. of 4,700 mg represents the adequate intake level of potassium for people age 14 and older, as determined by the Institute of Medicine in 2005, said Witty Brathwaite, senior toxicologist, scientific and regulatory affairs for Cargill, Minneapolis. Food and beverage companies have reasons to recognize the change.
“There may be an opportunity to increase potassium in their products and gain a potential nutrient claim,” Ms. Brathwaite said. “Alternatively, those products that are currently making the nutrient claim may fall short of the definition for ‘good source’ and ‘excellent source’ with the upcoming changes to the nutrition facts labeling.”
She said to qualify for a “good source” claim currently, a food or beverage needs to have between 10% and 19% of the D.V. of potassium per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC). A percentage of 20% or greater qualifies for an “excellent source” claim.
Cargill offers FlakeSelect potassium chloride products as salt replacers. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends decreasing sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day and increasing potassium intake to 4,700 mg per day.
Cargill has shown using FlakeSelect may create crushed tomatoes that have 169 mg of sodium and 475.8 mg of potassium in a 130-gram RACC, which compares to 241.8 mg sodium and 380.9 mg of potassium in crushed tomatoes without FlakeSelect. In this instance, using FlakeSelect in crushed tomatoes would qualify the product for a “good source” of potassium claim both currently and when the new rule takes effect.
Using FlakeSelect in deli ham led to 480.7 mg of sodium and 410.85 mg of potassium in a 55-gram RACC, which compared with 686.95 mg of sodium and 143 mg of potassium in deli ham without FlakeSelect. In chicken noodle soup with a 240-gram RACC, the levels were 585.6 mg of sodium and 379.2 mg of potassium when FlakeSelect was used and 837.6 mg of sodium and 52.8 mg of potassium when FlakeSelect was not used.
The deli ham and chicken noodle soup both qualify for a “good source” of potassium claim under current requirements, but they would fall slightly under with the new ruling. Ms. Brathwaite said.
Morre-Tec also offers potassium chloride. Its main purpose is to reduce sodium, Mr. Ludlum said. No more than 40% of potassium chloride may be added to achieve the same table salt effect, he said. Achieving an “excellent source” claim for potassium is possible.
Church & Dwight, Inc., Ewing, N.J., offers a Flow-K potassium bicarbonate, which has been shown to replace standard sodium bicarbonate, adjusted for differences in neutralizing values. Flow-K potassium bicarbonate has 39.06 grams of potassium per 100-gram serving. Used in typical leavening applications, Flow-K has been shown to add 0.1% to 0.8% of potassium to the food application, according to Church & Dwight. Flow-K has been shown to work in a variety of baked foods, including biscuits, muffins, cookies, cakes and pancakes.
Flow-K has no metallic or fish taste, according to Church & Dwight.