Mexico adopts new sodium reduction guidelines


The Mexican Ministries of Health issued a final rule (NOM-051) on March 27, 2020 that mandates a new front package labeling (FOPL) system for all packaged foods, to warn consumers against products that exceed strict thresholds for sodium, caloric content, added sugars and saturated fats.

Under the new rule, salty snack brands will need to prominently add the warning “Excess Sodium” (Exceso de Sodio) if the product exceeds 350mg of sodium per 100g of product. Snack brands will need to add the label depicted below if their current product exceeds the recommended limit.

The implementation date for the FOPL warnings is October 1st, 2020, with
more stringent nutrient thresholds starting October 1st, 2023.

Mexican snack manufacturers are now being challenged to reduce sodium levels without impacting the taste of their products. In the snack industry, where flavor is everything, manufacturers are faced with the potential of new warning labels decreasing their sales if they don’t reduce sodium, and if they do, it will also negatively impact sales due to a less savory product.

MicroSalt®, an all natural, proprietary salt made with micron-size particles that dissolve in the mouth significantly faster than regular salt, delivers an increased sensation of saltiness with approximately 50% less sodium.In light of this new regulation, we believe that MicroSalt provides a solution to reduce sodium content without compromising flavor, compared to other
sodium reduction methods which adversely affect taste.

Market & Health Information
The Mexican snack food market is expected to register approximately $4 billion in sales in 2020 and is rapidly growing (1).

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the number one cardiovascular risk factor and the world’s greatest risk factor for death and disability, according to the World Health Organization. People with hypertension are three-times more likely to die from heart disease and four-times more likely to die from stroke. In Mexico, with a population of 126 million, there are 22.3 million hypertensive adults (2).