Food uses include table and kitchen salt, as well as the salt that is used for the conservation of meat and vegetables. Assuming a world population of 7 billion and an average daily consumption of nine and a half grams per day, total consumption of food salt is around 25 million metric tons. Total consumption of salt in food, is roughly 10 million metric tons higher, because of the use of salt in food conservation.
The graphic shows average salt intake per day for the different world regions. Asia is leading with a daily average intake of more than 10 grams per day, followed by Europe and North America. The lowest average daily intake of salt is observed in Oceania with less than 6 grams per day. Also shown in the graph are the recommended values of the World Health Organization in the green line or the recommendations of the American Heart Association in the red line. These recommendations and their scientific justification are a matter of debate.
Despite reasonable doubt on the justification for the recommendations, the view that salt intake is detrimental to health is quite popular and the flavor industry undertook enormous efforts to come up with replacements for salt. A variety of factors will have an impact on the future food salt consumption – a growing world population, scientific evidence, regulations for the food industry, food bloggers and influencers, and it remains to be seen which factors will be most important.