J Nutr Health.  2019 Apr;52(2):185-193. 10.4163/jnh.2019.52.2.185.

Development of standards for reducing the sodium content and salinity of Korean fermented soybean sauces and representative Korean foods high in sodium

  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea. yklee@knu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea.


This study was conducted to develop standards for the salinity and sodium content in representative Korean foods high in sodium.
A total of 600 foods from four seasonings (soy sauce, soybean paste, red pepper paste, and ssamjang) and 16 representative Korean foods high in sodium were collected from 10 households, 10 industry foodservice establishments, and 10 Korean restaurants in 10 cities nationwide and analyzed for their salinity and sodium content. Based on the findings, the standards with a 20% ~ 30% reduced sodium content and salinity from the current level were presented.
The suggested standards of salinity (and sodium content per 100 g) were less than 12% (4,500 mg) for soy sauce, 9% (3,500 mg) for soybean paste, 5% (2,000 mg) for red pepper paste, and 6% (2,500 mg) for ssamjang. The reduced standards of salinity for soups were suggested to less than 0.5% for clear soup and 0.7% for soybean paste soup, while for broths, it was 0.6% for clear broth and 0.7% for other broths. The standards of salinity for stews were suggested to less than 0.8% for soybean paste stew, 0.6% for other stews, 0.9% for steamed and stir-fried fish dishes, 1.0% for braised dishes, 4.0% for stir-fried dried fishes, 1.3% for other braised dishes including vegetables, and 1.5% for pickled vegetables and kimchi.
Standards for the sodium content and salinity were suggested to reduce the sodium level in fermented soybean sauces and representative Korean high sodium dishes by 20% from the current levels. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to adjust the standards properly to reduce the sodium content and salinity further by considering the future status of sodium intake.


Korean food; fermented soybean sauces; sodium reduction; sodium content; salinity
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