Consumer report finds kimchi still too salty

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Consumer report finds kimchi still too salty

Kimchi sold through home shopping and other retail outlets contains less salt than it used to, but it is still too much according to the Korea Consumer Agency and Korea Consumer Affairs Institute.

In a report released yesterday, 16 brands of kimchi available at large discount stores and home-shopping malls contain 22.5 percent of the World Health Organization’s recommended daily allowance of 2,000 milligrams.

In Korea, kimchi consumption averages 70 grams, or 450 milligrams, per person per day of sodium. Packaged kimchi contains an average of 643 milligrams per 100 grams.

And even though kimchi contains less salt than in the past, Koreans are consuming more sodium in their overall diet, the report said.

Koreans consumed an average of 4,831 milligrams of sodium a day in 2011, nearly two-and-a-half times the WHO recommendation.

“Research found that society would save 13 trillion won ($11.5 billion) annually if sodium consumption dropped to 3,000 milligrams,” said Song Kyu-hye, a food microbiology researcher at the Korea Consumer Agency. “Consumers should select kimchi products with less sodium for a healthy life.”

The two agencies plan to propose a mandatory labeling of sodium content on packaging: salty, medium and low-sodium. The report said the sodium content level would guarantee consumers can compare products before they buy.



BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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