Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Guidance document regarding the use of an alternate name for potassium chloride in food labeling.

The FDA’s Final Guidance states the agency will exercise enforcement discretion to allow the use of “potassium salt” as an alternative common or usual name for “potassium chloride.”1 The Final Guidance is a change from the FDA’s previous position in the draft guidance, which allowed for the alternate name “potassium chloride salt.” The agency received numerous comments from the food industry and non-governmental organizations requesting that FDA instead allow the name “potassium salt.” Many of these comments noted that food companies may be more likely to utilize potassium chloride if a more recognizable name for the ingredient may be used in the ingredient statement.

The FDA recognizes potassium chloride (KCl) can be used as a partial substitute for sodium chloride in food manufacturing, helping to reduce sodium content. The FDA’s final guidance confirms that the name “potassium salt” is unlikely to be misleading or to cause consumers to confuse the ingredient with sodium chloride. The agency explains the guidance is appropriate due in part to the important public health benefits that could result from reduced sodium and increased potassium intake.