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AMI Unveils Consumer Video on Salt's Role in Meat Products

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Washington, DC – The American Meat Institute (AMI) today released a new educational video on salt’s role in meat and poultry products, featuring meat scientist Betsy Booren, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs of the American Meat Institute Foundation. 

Eight new videos, to be released weekly beginning today, will complement AMI’s existing series, “Ask the Meat Science Guy,” and will provide answers to many of the questions consumers pose about meat and poultry. 

The first new video in the series, released on AMI’s YouTube channel, the Meat News Network, addresses questions consumers have about the most common salt used in food products, sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt.

In the video, Booren reminds consumers that fresh, unprocessed meat and poultry products like a pork chop or a steak contain very low levels of salt.  But when making products like salami, hot dogs, bacon and deli meats, Booren notes, “Salt is added to reduce and prevent bacteria growth, to extend shelf life, help the product maintain a uniform texture, keep the meat moist and enhance taste and flavor.” 

According to an analysis of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, only three of the top 20 sodium-contributing foods consumed by Americans are meat products or food products that contain meat. 

Still, Booren acknowledges efforts to reduce sodium intake and says, “The meat industry is responding with efforts to offer a wide variety of reduced or low-sodium products to meet different nutrition needs, such as hot dogs with 250 milligrams of sodium or less and lower and very low sodium deli meats, bacon, ham and breakfast sausage that are made with 140 milligrams of sodium or less.”

To watch the two-minute video, visit the Meat News Network on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/MeatNewsNetwork.

AMI plans to release a video every Tuesday during the next two months as part of its commitment to answer commonly asked questions about shopping, preparation, cooking and nutrition of various meat and poultry products. 

“Consumer research shows there is a knowledge gap in information about meat and poultry products,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley.  “We hope that this video campaign will build on our current library of educational videos and help close that gap.”


AMI is the nation’s oldest and largest trade association representing the U.S. meat and poultry packing and processing industry and its Foundation serves as its research, education and information arm.


Booren serves as director of scientific affairs for the Foundation.  She received her Ph.D. in food science and technology from Texas A&M University, M.S. in animal science from the University of Nebraska and a B.S. in food science from Michigan State University.

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