New natural salt product to slash sodium content in food

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Salt Sodium chloride

Ocean’s Flavor has introduced a new taste-friendly salt which it claims has up to 70 percent less sodium than table salt to address the quest by food manufacturers to reduce sodium chloride in their products.

Its two new natural sea salts contain 70 percent and 60 percent less sodium and have been launched as an alternative to traditional table salt.

The new offerings are a blend of its existing line of natural sea salt, which is said to have all attributes of regular sea salt but at a reduced sodium level of 45 percent, and natural potassium chloride to provide a “flavor friendly blend”.

Alan Fisher, president of Ocean's Flavor said the product tastes exactly like salt because the potassium chloride is derived from the same source as the sea salt.

He said: “Our food processing partners are progressive in delivering healthy, natural ingredients that maintain best quality in culinary excellence in taste and texture. Many are shifting their processing to be out in front of the sodium reduction movement with their products.

“Over the last two years, Ocean's Flavor has experienced tremendous growth due to the public's demand for lower sodium, natural products.

“This need has been further supported by newer and more defined sodium intake guidelines, as set forth by the American Heart Association, American Medical Association and The Center for Science here in the states. Paralleling these new requirements are the new more stringent restrictions in the U.K.”

Health concerns

A body of evidence has linked excess salt (sodium chloride) in the diet to an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke. According to the US Dietary Guidelines, over three quarters of the salt in the average American diet comes from processed foods.

An important part of reformulating foods to contain less salt lies with enhancing the taste of the salt that is there. Ingredients companies are also collaborating with their customers to do their part in reducing sodium in the individual components that go in to a finished product.

The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to remove salt from the list of foods it categorizes as "generally recognized as safe"​ (GRAS), following repeated petitions from interest groups highlighting the alleged danger of salt consumption.

The American Medical Association (AMA), claims that 150,000 US deaths a year could be prevented by halving the amount of salt in American food products, as excess salt consumption is contributing to heart disease and strokes - the current number one and number three killers in the US.

It said that the average American consumes six to 18g of salt daily but the body needs only about 0.5g of salt each day. The association has called for nutrient labeling to appear on the front of packaging.

On the other side of the debate, the Salt Institute has encouraged a controlled investigation into whether a reduction in salt would really improve public health.

Meanwhile food manufacturers have voluntarily been trying to lower salt content in food, including Nestle, which says it is looking at "every possibility for salt reduction".

Salt source

Ocean's Flavor produces its salt from a town in Latin America which it says has the right environment, ideal climate and the required processing support for natural less sodium salt production.

The company says it uses “tight patent-pending restrictions”​ in a process that “optimizes the environment's natural ability to produce a salt comprised of lower sodium and great taste, while maintaining the ocean's healthy minerals”.

The salts are used in soups, seasonings and frozen foods, among other products, as well as by beef and poultry-producing companies in the US and abroad.

Ocean’s Flavor also has a line of sea salts which contain 57 percent less sodium than table salt.

The US is the world's top salt producer, according to the Salt Institute, producing 1.6m tons, or $287m worth of food-grade salt in 2007.

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