Kraft Foods announced last week that the company plans to eliminate 10 million pounds of salt from over 1,000 products in the next two years.  The company will reduce the amount of sodium in a number of products by up to 20 percent by the end of 2012.

Rhonda Jordan, President of Health and Wellness for Kraft, said the company is making the move in response to consumer concerns.  “We are reducing sodium because it’s good for consumers, and, if done properly, it’s good for business,” she said.  

The amount of sodium in Oscar Mayer Bologna will be reduced by 17 percent and in some flavors of Easy Mac Cups will be reduced by 20 percent.  

Marion Nestle, professor of public health and sociology at New York University and author of several books on the food system, analyzed what the change to a box of Easy Mac would mean on her blog, Food Politics: “Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese (SpongeBob package) has 580 mg (milligrams) sodium per serving and there are two servings in one of those small boxes: 1160 in total.  A 10 percent reduction will bring it down to 1050 mg within two years.  The upper recommended limit for an adult is 2300 mg/day.”

In a company press release, Kraft said the new sodium reduction efforts are not entirely new to the company; it has already reduced sodium in many products between 5 and 30 percent.  

“We are aggressively working toward our goal of a 10 percent reduction across the Kraft Foods portfolio, which will impact more than 1,000 skus, and we’re pushing for greater reductions in the long term,” said Jordan. “We’re constantly looking for and investing in new technologies to help us get there.”

The company currently offers lower sodium alternatives of over 100 products.

On March 5, New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz introduced a bill into the

New York legislature to ban the use of sodium in New York restaurants. 

In January, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, along with 26 cities and 17

public health organizations called on the food industry to reduce the

amount of sodium in a wide array of products by 25 percent over five