A ‘unique’ mineral salt containing sodium chloride and potassium chloride is being launched in the US, offering to lower the sodium impact of any food product without sacrificing flavor or functionality.
Saltwell is described by Swedish salt processor Salinity as a one-grain salt with 65% sodium chloride (NaCl) and 30% potassium chloride (KCl). The crystals are extracted from underground brine reserves below the Atacama Desert in South America.
The Saltwell brine is extracted from underneath the surface of Atacama, said Thomas Hultman, Saltwell Export Manager. The brine goes through a solar evaporation process, utilizing only the sun as energy source for its formation.
While there are already many existing blends of NaCl and KCl available for food manufacturers, the ‘uniqueness’ of Saltwell is that the minerals are naturally formed in one grain during the crystallization process, therefore preventing any separation between NaCl and KCl, said Thomas Hultman, Saltwell Export Manager.
“The separation that occurs in a blended product causes an inhomogeneous composition and often leads to a bitter and metallic taste in the products,” Hultman told FoodNavigator-USA.
The product is being launched simultaneously in Scandinavia, UK and USA for the food producing industry, and FDA has approved Saltwell to be labeled as an all-natural mineral salt, he said.
From meatballs to oatmeal
“Saltwell is a naturally formed mineral salt, where each grain contains small amounts of additional minerals and trace elements that are crucial to human health,” said Hultman.
“Trace elements such as calcium and magnesium have proven health benefits regarding reducing the risk of osteoporosis and aiding in muscle and nerve function.”
Ann Winzell, Technical and Chemical Specialist for Saltwell, explained that the ingredient has been tested in many applications such as meatballs, chicken, oatmeal and bread and “has received very good results on taste, structure and process handling”.
“Unlike blended solutions for sodium reduction that can taste harsh and bitter, Saltwell has great flavor and can be replaced one to one into established recipes and formulations,” she added.
Hultman noted that the company anticipates that food manufacturers will begin to incorporate Saltwell into ready-to-eat products based on the lifecycle of their products.
“One leading Food producer in Europe already uses Saltwell in ready to eat products,” he said.
So coming from an underground source, what’s the supply of this ‘next generation’ salt reduction ingredient like?
“For the future we foresee that Saltwell will suffice for both the industrial use and the consumer market,” said Hultman.