Socioeconomic Assessment of Meat Protein Extracts (MPE) as a New Means of Reducing the U.S. Population’s Salt Intake
Excessive salt intake causes a number of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and hypertension. This is a burden on the individual as well as on society, because these diseases are fatal and costly to treat and live with. Much of the salt comes from processed meat such as sausages, ham, and bacon and has, so far, been hard to avoid because of consumer taste preference as well as the technological benefits. Meat protein extract (MPE) is a broth of hydrolyzed protein which can reduce the salt in processed meat by more than one third without compromising on taste and functionality. This study estimates the socioeconomic impacts of implementing MPE widely across the United States (US) by relating the national salt intake reduction potential of MPE (5%) to a broad range of health, societal, and individual factors derived from the literature. Results show that benefits for society are substantial and MPE could be part of the solution for the problem of excessive salt intake. MPE could deliver 25% of the U.S. ‘National Salt Reduction Initiative’ goals, avoid approximately 1 million hypertension cases and save around USD 1.6 billion in annual direct healthcare costs. Verification indicates that these estimates are conservative.
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