Bueno - Current Innovations in Salt Reduction
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Current Innovations in Reducing Salt in Food ProductsJune 2012 Prepared by Katie Wallis and Sarah Chapman, Campden BRI
1.0 Introduction The continuing drive from governments, health professionals and retailers to reduce salt in food products, has led to an increase in both the development of salt replacing ingredients and innovative methods to help decrease the quantities of salt eaten by consumers. Salt has many functions within foods including preservation, texture, improving processability and taste. Initiatives directed around salt replacing ingredients are mainly focussed on the addition of other mineral salts, e.g. potassium chloride, flavour enhancers and yeast extracts with strong umami characteristics. Most have been trialled by the food industry, and many have been incorporated into commercial recipes. However some of the ingredients are known to be associated with negative organoleptic qualities. There has also been research into and development of methods that aim to decrease salt in foods, including slowly decreasing the salt content in food products over a long period of time, reduction by stealth, altering the food matrix, the inclusion of water in oil in water emulsions (wow emulsions) as well as the inclusion of aromas giving the perception that the product is saltier than it is. The problem the food industry faces is that consumers will expect reduced salt products to exhibit the same flavour and appearance as the original product, but be healthier because of the reduction in salt. Any discrepancy in the flavour of the food will have a negative effect on repeat purchases of the product by the consumer. This report discusses current innovations on reducing salt from a sensory perspective, including salt replacing ingredients, as well as highlighting emerging technologies, current research and the future of salt reduction. 2.0 Current innovations in salt reduction 2.1: Salt substitutes and salt replacing ingredients Research carried out on improving the acceptability of reduced salt foods (Dtsch. et al., 2009) led to the development of numerous salt replacing ingredients and compounds. They claim to either enhance the salty flavour or replicate the function of salt without affecting the sodium content; however they do not have the preservative effect of salt. Therefore manufactures need to be cautious if using salt replacing ingredients in reduced salt products, and to ensure that there are other preservative hurdles in place assure the safety end life of the products. Salt substitutes, which consist of other mineral salts, can impart a salty flavour to food; however the flavour profile is different to sodium chloride. Potassium chloride (KCl) or modified potassium chlorides are most frequently used. Other mineral salts including ammonium chloride, calcium chloride and magnesium sulphate, deliver unwanted flavours which limit their use (Heidolph., et al., 2011). Potassium chloride can generally only substitute up to 30% of salt in majority of food products, this is because at higher levels, potassium chloride has a noticeable metallic flavour (Brandsma, I., 2007), which some consumers find unpleasant. The use of potassium chloride in replacement of sodium is more effective in strong, hot flavoured products. In bland or slightly weak flavoured foods, a bitter, metallic taste is observed, therefore to help reduce the unpleasant aftertaste it is usually blended with sodium chloride or other mineral salts in order to reduce the metallic
aftertaste. Potassium chlorides bitter aftertaste along with consumers avoiding potassium for health reasons limits its use in reduced salt food products. Table 1.0 provides a detailed list of salt replacing ingredients currently available. Other ingredients used in the development of improving the quality of reduced salt products are taste enhancers. Taste enhancers include yeast extracts, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP). They are added into recipes to enhance the flavour thereby compensating for the reduction in salt. This approach tends to work best in savoury flavoured applications. The umami effect delivered from these ingredients increases the perceived salty taste, without the high sodium content. Enhancers work by increasing the flavour of products due to activating taste buds linked to the umami taste receptors (Brandsma, 2006). Although the taste enhancing ingredients provide a strong flavour, there are negative organoleptic and health problems associated with some of these ingredients. MSG is linked with possible health implications including hyperactivity, sickness and migraines (Kilcast, and den Ridder 2007) as well as being classified as an artificial additive. HVP and yeasts can impart the flavour of a food with a strong meaty/beefy flavour, which some consumers may dislike. Yeasts and HVP can themselves contain a salt level of up to 40%, therefore manufacturers (depending on product application) may need to limit the amount put into the product or find an alternative ingredient. Although there has been a step forward in the development of salt replacing ingredients and taste enhancers, there is still an element of negative organoleptic impact associated with the ingredients. They can be considered a useful additional tool in the reduction of salt. However food manufacturers and researchers still need to develop new methods to aid the reduction of salt in a wide range of products. See Table 1.0 for a detailed summary of salt enhancing ingredients, including claimed usage rates and application types.
2.2: Modification of the structure of Sodium Chloride Salt crystals of varying sizes have the ability to influence the delivery of the salty taste. It is thought that the smaller the particle size, the faster the rate of dissolution and therefore the rate of perception of salt is increased. Research on potato snacks claimed that snacks containing finer salt crystals gave a more rapid release of saltiness than larger crystal sizes (Kilcast and den Ridder, 2007). Jensen, et al., (2011) patented a seasoning and technique which consisted of a particle size of 20 micron. Johnson, et al (2011) also patented a seasoning and a technique that contained 20 micron particle size of sea salt and flavourings both aimed at allowing a reduction in salt. Development of sodium chloride with a modified structure has also been investigated; it has the same functionality and properties as salt, however the physical structure is reengineered into hollow microscopic particle sizes. Eminate developed and patented this process, and developed a new product called SodaLo, which is to be marketed and sold by Tate and Lyle later this year (Watson, 2011). Soda
Lo is claimed to have the ability to reduce salt up to 50%, but can deliver a stronger, salty flavour, compared to table salt, and can still be declared as salt on the packaging (Bouckley., 2011). Eminate have investigated the reduction of salt using Soda Lo in a variety of products, including bread, snacks, sausages and sauces and their results claim that it produces reduced salt products with the same qualities as the original normal salt products.
Table 1.0: Listing and summarising current salt replacing ingredients and flavour enhancersProduct Title Low-So Salt replacer Supplier and contact details Malabar www.malabarsuperspice. com Function of product Salt reducer Manufacturers Claims Dependent on product, found in French fries at 42% sodium replacement and in ham a 25% reduction Up to 50% reduction Composition of product Modified potassium chloride, rice flour Manufacturers suggestions Salty snacks, meat products, and cheese production. Additional manufacturer claims Has a modified crystal structure. www.malabarsuperspice.com
Proprietary ingredient, sodium chloride and potassium chloride
Up to 30% reduction
Salt Trim , Salt Trim Plus, Sea Salt Trim
Wild Flavours Inc. www.wildflavors.com
Up to 50% removal of salt.
No information available
Soups, Sauces, meats, frozen entrees, cheese, meal kits, cereals, salad dressings, canned foods, batters, breadings, baked goods, popcorn, and French fries. Bakery Products Pre prepared Meals Processed Meats and Poultry Soups and Sauces Cheese Products Beverages Baby Food Soups, processed meat products, pizza shelf stable/ canned foods, salty snacks, sauces, salad dressings and tomato juice
Has the taste and texture of regular salt. Has no bitter metallic aftertaste. It is available in a regular sea salt and kosher form. It is able to withstand processing and claims it contains no artificial flavours.
Complies with international food regulations High purity Particularly low content of secondary salts Natural origin
Salt Trim (potassium chloride, added separately by consumer), Salt Trim Plus- (Salt Trim plus potassium chloride) , Sea Salt Trim (Salt Trim and sea salt). Heat-stable for processing, natural and organic versions are available, meets
Armor Proteines http://www.armorproteines.com/ENG/gam me.php
Dependent on the product 20% less sodium in cooked meat products, 25% less sodium in baked goods, 30% less sodium in soups. 100% substitution leading to a 77% reduction in sodium
Milk mineral blend
Meat products, baked products, soups and cheese.
FDA and USDA labelling regulations, kosher version available and comes in a dry powder form. Made by cracking milk, hence labelling for allergens. No after taste, natural, adds natural or added aromas making products taste more natu