Contribution of food additives to sodium and phosphorus content of diets rich in processed foods.J Ren Nutr. 2014 Jan; 24(1):13-9, 19e1.JR
Phosphorus-based food additives increase the total phosphorus content of processed foods. However, the extent to which these additives augment total phosphorus intake per day is unclear.
DESIGN AND METHODS
To examine the contribution of phosphorus-based food additives to the total phosphorus content of processed foods, separate 4-day menus for a low-additive and additive-enhanced diet were developed using Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) software. The low-additive diet was designed to conform to U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for energy and phosphorus intake (∼2,000 kcal/day and 900 mg of phosphorus per day), and it contained minimally processed foods. The additive-enhanced diet contained the same food items as the low-additive diet except that highly processed foods were substituted for minimally processed foods. Food items from both diets were collected, blended, and sent for measurement of energy and nutrient intake.
The low-additive and additive-enhanced diet provided approximately 2,200 kcal, 700 mg of calcium, and 3,000 mg of potassium per day on average. Measured sodium and phosphorus content standardized per 100 mg of food was higher each day of the additive-enhanced diet as compared with the low-additive diet. When averaged over the 4 menu days, the measured phosphorus and sodium contents of the additive-enhanced diet were 606 ± 125 and 1,329 ± 642 mg higher than the low-additive diet, respectively, representing a 60% increase in total phosphorus and sodium content on average. When comparing the measured values of the additive-enhanced diet to NDSR-estimated values, there were no statistically significant differences in measured versus estimated phosphorus contents.
Phosphorus and sodium additives in processed foods can substantially augment phosphorus and sodium intake, even in relatively healthy diets. Current dietary software may provide reasonable estimates of the phosphorus content in processed foods.