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New salt balances sodium and potassium

By Jess Halliday , 12-Nov-2009
Last updated on 12-Nov-2009 at 18:09 GMT

A new sea salt with 66 percent less sodium than common table salt and high potassium content is being offered to food manufacturers, after six years of development work involving salts from the Mediterranean region.

Bez Arkush, founder of US-based company Bon Vivant, told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the company has spent six years working on a proprietary process to balance sodium and potassium content in salt.

He explained that the result, called NutraSalt 66, is made from a combination of two different sea salts, from the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. While all natural sodium chloride salts have more or less the same sodium level, other minerals are present in different quantities, and the company’s process enables these to be finely balanced.

There has been considerable attention to the role of excess sodium in cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control says adults should consume no more than 2300mg of sodium per day – and the over 40s, African Americans and people with high blood pressure should have no more than 1500mg.

But it’s not just about sodium reduction. Arkush believes there will be more attention paid to the positive role of potassium. The Institute of Medicine recommends people consume at least 4.7g of potassium per day, to reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss and blunt the effects of excess salt.

Interest

Arkush said that a major US food company is already using NutraSalt 66 in products expected to be on the market soon, but non-disclosure agreements prevented him from revealing which.

Because many companies are multinational, there are also tests being conducted in Germany, France, and other countries.

Bon Vivant is eyeing three channels for the salt. It says it can be used by food manufacturers, and tests have yielded good results in soups, bakery, meat – and even in certain beverages where the electrolyte balance is important.

The food service sector is also of interest, not least because of efforts to encourage restaurants to reduce salt use by as much as 20 percent in New York.

And Arkush said single servings are also available, to encourage its use by consumers at table and in recipes.

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