Upcoming Issue Highlights
Home Subscribe Advertise Sourcebook Free Product Info Home

Salt Reduction: A Global Concern

Albion Minerals®

Our bodies need sodium, but most of us, not only in the U.S., but also in countries worldwide, are getting too much.

When it comes to salt intake, Senior Researcher Ulla Toft at the Research Centre for Prevention and Health in Copenhagen, Denmark confirmed we err on the side of salinity.

Toft was a speaker at last year’s MeetEat conference in Oslo, Norway and lectured the meatpacking industry on salt from a health perspective.

“Our ancestors ate less than one gram of salt per day,” she said, noting that 1.5 g of salt daily is sufficient. But many people now consume around 10 g, she said. Health authorities in Norway advise women to reduce that to 6 g by 2018—men are urged to limit themselves to 7 g. Once that is achieved, the next Norwegian goal will be to decrease intake to 5 g a day. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends reducing salt intake worldwide to less than 5 g per day.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that adults in general should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, or 2.3 g. However, those in the following population groups should go even lower. They should consume no more than 1,500 mg, or 1.5 g of sodium daily.

• Those 51 years of age or older

• African Americans

• Those with high blood pressure

• Those with diabetes

• Those with chronic kidney disease The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population overall and the majority of adults.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension and the corresponding risk of cardiovascular diseases are the most dangerous consequences of too much salt. High blood pressure is responsible for 50 percent of all cases of angina and heart attacks, and 60 percent of all strokes.

“We have a convincing cause-andeffect relationship between high salt intake and cardiovascular diseases,” said Toft.

Food manufacturers have taken note. According to Dr. Paul Lohmann, a German ingredient supplier with U.S. headquarters in New York, the top reformulation trend in making processed foods healthier is “sodium reduction.”

The company cited that increased intake of sodium is closely related to an increase in both blood pressure and heart disease. In order to meet WHO requirements and provide consumers healthier products, food manufacturers are often faced with the challenge of reducing the sodium content of their products without sacrificing the taste and quality.

Dr. Paul Lohmann’s LomaSalt line allows several options for sodium reduction. The company’s new LomaSalt 2.0 product combines new and innovative ingredients that are an authentic alternative to table salt with no off-notes. The product is a blend of mineral salts formulated as a 1:1 replacement for table salt that enables a 50 percent reduction in the sodium content. Also, none of the products in the LomaSalt line contain glutamates, yeast extracts or other flavors or flavor enhancers, according to the company.

Sodium and Soccer

New market research conducted by TNS for the Israel Society of Hypertension shows that 62 percent of consumers who watch TV eat savory snacks, while 50 percent eat a variety of salted nuts. During football games, like a world soccer championship, sodium consumption typically increases dramatically. Israel-based Salt of the Earth, Ltd. Ingredient supplier created a low-sodium salt designed to reduce sodium up to 60 percent in savory formulations using such popular ingredients as peanuts, pistachios, almonds and seeds.

“Consumers prefer healthier products but won’t compromise on organoleptic properties like flavor and mouthfeel,” said Giorit Carmi, marketing manager of Salt of the Earth. “Eating nuts while watching sports is a core part of our culture—even more common than drinking beer. We identified this niche sports fan market as one of the premium targets for reducing sodium consumption. Zarubi Pitzuchai Hagalil, one of the leading nut companies in Israel, recently added it to their line with great success. Our next step is to introduce this low-sodium ingredient into the global market.”

The new low-sodium ingredient keeps the same salty taste in a formulation, but has much less sodium, according to the company. It contains high-value potassium chloride derived from the Dead Sea, plus natural, sustainable Red Sea salt. Salt of the Earth said it relies on Mother Nature’s powers to produce sea salt, without chemical processing and with a minimal ecological footprint. Red Sea salt is rich in essential minerals and microelements that are vital to wellbeing, according to the company.

This sodium-reduction ingredient is heat stable and enables a “low-sodium” label claim. It contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and is produced under strict inspection to ensure potency, purity and safety. Zarubi tested the ingredient in multiple lab applications using several kinds of nuts and based on these results decided to launch the low-salt nuts line in Israel.

“The test results should encourage savory snack makers to develop lowsodium nut snacks,” added Carmi. “Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious, but a key challenge is to reduce sodium without impacting the salty flavor.”

A&B Marketing Director, Gil Bakal, noted that sea salt continues to gain prominence among consumers. The New Jersey-based company recently introduced the natural sea salt, Two Seas Sea Salt, noting that its success is not only related to the reduced sodium chloride content, but the exceptional retention of the product’s taste profile.

“Although potassium chloride has generally become the choice substitute for sodium chloride by the industry, the bitter notes of potassium chloride impacts the taste profile of the finished product. This often leaves consumers with a bad taste. The properties of Two Seas Sea Salt, however, offer the food service industry a sea salt that not only provides 50 percent less sodium, but does not affect the taste profile of foods.”

Bakal noted that the company has observed Two Seas Sea Salt against other salts and the new A&B Ingredients’ product has consistently outperformed rival products. He pointed to the proprietary manufacturing process and the combination of salts from the mineral-rich Dead Sea and the Red Sea as one of the many reasons for its natural taste. The combination of natural elements also enables A&B Ingredients to offer the new sea salt in cost effective manner.

“While much has been written on the differences between sea salt versus table salt. We note that the effectiveness of the natural properties of sea salt contain many essential trace minerals the body requires, and is a natural means of assisting the body build a stronger immune system which can assist in fighting autoimmune disorders,” he said.

Bakal also pointed to the 50 percent lower sodium content of the Two Seas Sea Salt, which helps counter high sodium intake that has been directly associated to hypertension, a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

Albion Minerals®