Morton Salt is part of K+S Group, which is the world’s number one salt supplier and also the world’s fourth largest potash supplier, the principal source of potassium. Morton claims that having a vertically integrated supply chain for both sodium chloride and potassium chloride ensures greater product availability for its customers looking to reduce sodium with a combination of the two ingredients.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the recent IFT expo in New Orleans, senior marketing manager at Morton Salt Peter Sashin said: “Potassium chloride is proven to be one of the most functional and cost effective ways to reduce sodium…A concern shared by the marketplace is supply of potassium but since we have complete vertical integration, we can offer the full support of the organization to ensure you do have more control over product availability.”
In addition to Kalisel, Morton Salt also offers a 50/50 blend of sodium chloride and potassium chloride under its Morton Lite Salt Mixture brand, and a variety of salt particle sizes and bulk densities.
“We have been in the marketplace listening and understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” Sashin said. “Overall our strategy for sodium reduction is in line with the rest of the food industry. It’s a question of balance between taste and functionality…and having additional ingredients in your toolbox to work with.”
Food manufacturers have been under increasing pressure to reduce sodium in their products in recent years, with an estimated 75 percent of sodium in the average American diet coming from processed food – and most Americans are consuming far more than their recommended maximum intakes.
“Our customers aren’t willing to sacrifice taste, especially if they have got a strong brand,” Sashin said.
Nevertheless, most major players in the industry now have some kind of sodium reduction strategy, suggesting that achieving this balance is possible, and each new reduction announcement tends to spur others to reduce sodium still further.
General Mills, for example, said in its 2010 corporate social responsibility report that it would reduce sodium by 20 percent in about 600 products; Kraft pledged to reduce the sodium content of its entire North American portfolio by an average of 10 percent over a two-year period; ConAgra set an across the board reduction target in 2009 of 20 percent by 2015; and Unilever also announced a sodium reduction strategy that year.