The Mexican Ministries of Health issued the green light on the new law on March 27, 2020, which mandates a new front of package labelling (FOPL) system for all packaged foods.
Under NOM-051, products that exceed 350mg of sodium per 100g of product will need to prominently display the warning Exceso de Sodio (Excess Sodium).
The implementation date for the FOPL warnings is October 1, 2020. The government has announced its intention to implement an even more stringent nutritional threshold of >300mg in 2023.
This presents a double edged sword for Mexican salty snack producers.
Flavour is king when it comes to snacks, so manufacturers are at risk of losing consumers if their product is compromised due to reduced sodium levels. However, they could also see a decrease in sales if they are forced to display the Exceso de Sodio warning.
One company that is embracing the Mexican government’s move is Salarius, developer of a proprietary low sodium salt made with micron-sized particles that dissolve in the mouth faster than regular salt, increasing the sensation of saltiness with almost 50% less sodium.
Dr Clifford Gross, executive chairman of Tekcapital – the UK intellectual property investment firm that owns 91.7% of Salarius – said, “We are very glad to see the inspired action of the Mexican government to encourage sodium reduction in packaged foods.
“We believe this represents a significant opportunity for Salarius to access a large market for potential future sales of MicroSalt.”
Victor Hugo Manzanilla, CEO of Salarius, added, “There is a serious need for full flavour, low-sodium solutions in the food industry, and MicroSalt can help meet this challenge.”
A 2018 study by the Mexican Institute of Social Security, a governmental organisation that operates under the Secretariat of Health, found that more than 22 million of Mexcian adults suffered from high blood pressure. People with hypertension are three times more likely to die from heart disease and four times more likely to die from stroke.
Along with its potent flavour delivery, MicroSalt’s ultra-small particle size also enhances product adhesion, which reduces waste.
According to Manzanilla, Salarius is already in discussions with several Mexican snack producers.
Authors: Peralta MR, Sánchez GB, Arias ER, et al
Ann Clin Hypertens. 2018; 2: 038-047