Nutr Res Pract.  2014 Oct;8(5):558-563. 10.4162/nrp.2014.8.5.558.

Comparison of sodium content of workplace and homemade meals through chemical analysis and salinity measurements

  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungpook National University, 80, Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701, Korea.


Most Koreans consume nearly 70-80% of the total sodium through their dishes. The use of a salinometer to measure salinity is recommended to help individuals control their sodium intake. The purpose of this study was to compare sodium content through chemical analysis and salinity measurement in foods served by industry foodservice operations and homemade meals.
Workplace and homemade meals consumed by employees in 15 cafeterias located in 8 districts in Daegu were collected and the sodium content was measured through chemical analysis and salinity measurements and then compared. The foods were categorized into 9 types of menus with 103 workplace meals and 337 homemade meals.
Workplace meals did not differ significantly in terms of sodium content per 100 g of food but had higher sodium content via chemical analysis in roasted foods per portion. Homemade meals had higher broth salt content and higher salt content by chemical analysis per 100 g of roasted foods and hard-boiled foods. One-dish workplace meals had higher salinity (P < 0.05), while homemade broths and stews had higher sodium content (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). The sodium content per 100 g of foods was higher in one-dish workplace meals (P < 0.05) and in homemade broths and stews (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively).
The use of a salinometer may be recommended to estimate the sodium content in foods and control one's sodium intake within the daily intake target as a way to promote cooking bland foods at home. However, estimated and actual measured values may differ.


Sodium analysis; sodium content; salinity; workplace meals; homemade meals
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