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Salt replacers tap growing US health concerns

By Anthony Fletcher , 10-Oct-2005

Wild Flavors has launched a new salt replacement product that it claims blocks the negative taste of potassium chloride while keeping the true taste and mouthfeel of salt.

The company claims that SaltTrim, which is based on new proprietary technology, is a major breakthrough for manufacturers looking to reduce the salt content of food without taking away the flavor.

"SaltTrim creates a complete eating experience by adding back much of the taste and texture unique to salt," said the company in a press release. "When used in conjunction with potassium chloride, SaltTrim enables manufacturers to reduce salt by up to 50 per cent without impacting taste."

 

Wild Flavors is the latest company looking to tap into what could be a very lucrative market. There is no question that salt consumption in the American diet needs to be reduced, and both consumers and food makers are acutely aware of this.

 

One in three Americans regularly consumes more salt than is recommended, and most of this is in processed food. Food manufacturers have therefore found themselves under growing pressure to find ways of reducing salt, and the market for healthy alternatives to salt is beginning to look very attractive.

 

The problem however, has been developing salt substitutes that actually taste good. Taste remains a dominant concern in determining consumer preference, and poor salt imitations have led to a number of discontinued product lines.

 

Prime Favorites for example has also launched a salt replacement product designed to enable manufacturers to get healthy without compromising taste. The replacement contains NeutralFres, a natural ingredient formula that is designed to remove the metallic, bitter taste of potassium chloride while maintaining a similar taste to sodium-based salt.

 

And in Europe, Finland-based firm SLK claims that its product, Flavomare, can help food makers reduce the salt content of some products by up to 50 percent.

 

Flavomare is already on the market in Finland and has licenses ready for applications in the USA.

 

Health officials in United States have urged the reduction, or elimination, of sodium in the diet since it has been identified as a significant risk factor in developing high blood pressure and subsequent heart disease. At the same time, The National Academy of Sciences (NAS, Washington) recommended an increase of potassium intake to 4,700 mg per day based upon the evidence of potassium's role in controlling hypertension and preventing stroke.