Food Safety Focus (120th Issue, July 2016) – Food Incident Highlight
When It Comes to Salt, Not All Soups are Created Equal
Consuming too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. The World Health Organization has recommended adults limit their salt intake to 5g (sodium 2 000mg) a day. “Soups” is the second major contributor next to “sauces and condiments” to the dietary salt intake of the local adult population.
The Centre for Food Safety and the Consumer Council jointly studied 130 samples (13 types) of popular soups available in local market. Asian-style-(e.g. Tom Yum Goong soup and miso soup), Western-style- (e.g. Borsch), and Chinese-style thick soup (e.g. Hot and sour soup) had higher salt contents than Chinese-style thin soup (e.g. Kudzu root soup and Chicken with conch soup). Consuming a bowl (240g) of Tom Yum Goong soup with highest salt content (>5g) alone exceeded the recommended daily salt intake.
There is certainly room for the trade to reduce salt in soups. Consumers can ask for “less salt” and be aware of the portion size when having soups in restaurants. When making soups at home, add less salt and other condiments, or even better, do not add any.