To model the potential contribution of iodized salt through the consumption of key processed foods in order to improve monitoring of universal salt iodization programs.
The formula to model intakes used was: ‘quantity of salt in food x expected salt iodine level x average daily per capita consumption’. In order to select appropriate processed food vehicles, quantify salt content, and estimate consumption levels, GAIN 1) reviewed existing standards on the use of iodized salt by the food industry; 2) prioritized food vehicles based on available market data; 3) undertook assessments of salt content of these foods as produced by larger scale industries; and 4) calculated potential contributions of these foods to iodine intakes using the above formula.
Multiple country analyses were completed. As an example, in Russia based on an average per capita consumption of 200g bread/day, the use of iodized salt by the bread industry provides an additional 50.4 – 68.8ug/day of iodine or 34 – 46% recommended iodine intake for adults, 23 -31% for pregnant women.
Globally, an increasing amount of salt is consumed through processed foods, however regulatory monitoring and national surveys typically focus assessment on the iodine content of salt purchased by households. This approach fails to capture the contribution of iodized salt in processed foods and, potentially to, iodine status. If food industry salt is iodized, these foods could be making substantial contributions to dietary iodine intakes and should therefore be considered in programme monitoring. Modelling is one way of capturing their contributions.