Dietary Impact of Adding Potassium Chloride to Foods as a Sodium Reduction Technique

Nutrients. 2016 Apr 21;8(4):235. doi: 10.3390/nu8040235.


Potassium chloride is a leading reformulation technology for reducing sodium in food products. As, globally, sodium intake exceeds guidelines, this technology is beneficial; however, its potential impact on potassium intake is unknown. Therefore, a modeling study was conducted using Dutch National Food Survey data to examine the dietary impact of reformulation (n = 2106). Product-specific sodium criteria, to enable a maximum daily sodium chloride intake of 5 grams/day, were applied to all foods consumed in the survey. The impact of replacing 20%, 50% and 100% of sodium chloride from each product with potassium chloride was modeled. At baseline median, potassium intake was 3334 mg/day. An increase in the median intake of potassium of 453 mg/day was seen when a 20% replacement was applied, 674 mg/day with a 50% replacement scenario and 733 mg/day with a 100% replacement scenario. Reformulation had the largest impact on: bread, processed fruit and vegetables, snacks and processed meat. Replacement of sodium chloride by potassium chloride, particularly in key contributing product groups, would result in better compliance to potassium intake guidelines (3510 mg/day). Moreover, it could be considered safe for the general adult population, as intake remains compliant with EFSA guidelines. Based on current modeling potassium chloride presents as a valuable, safe replacer for sodium chloride in food products.

Keywords: potassium; reformulation; salt; sodium; sodium reduction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beverages / analysis
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Technology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Potassium Chloride / chemistry*
  • Potassium, Dietary*
  • Sodium / chemistry*
  • Sodium, Dietary*
  • Young Adult


  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Sodium