Sodium Counting System in Mass Catering for Therapeutic Diet Preparation

Masyitah Salwa Zakaria, Sarina Mansor, Nurul Nadia Ahmad, Fatimah Amirah Zakaria


Sodium is a well-known substance to enhance food taste, but the intake must be restricted, especially for patients who require a low-sodium diet. The amount of added salt in cooking can be optimized and controlled by calculating the total sodium in the ingredients used. This process is cumbersome for hospital meal catering, in which food is prepared based on the number of daily orders and specific diets. The existing solution uses a spreadsheet for calculating the amount of sodium, which is vulnerable to errors and not user-friendly. This paper presents a systematic system that can monitor and control the amount of sodium during meal preparation for hospital catering. The system consists of two main parts: a desktop application and an automated salt dispenser. The application keeps track of sodium usage based on the final ingredient list and the meal plan, thus allowing the catering officer to check the feasibility of changing the sodium amount needed for cooking without doing any manual calculations. The application is then integrated with a salt dispenser to ensure the salt amount used in the cooking is as intended. The successful implementation of this system supports Malaysia’s 2021–2025 salt reduction strategy to prevent and control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). It is also consistent with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, which calls for a global decrease in salt intake of 30%.


Sodium control; salt dispenser; mass catering; desktop application

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