New stock bases said to cut sodium by a quarter

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sodium Salt

Advanced Food Systems has introduced a new range of stock bases which it said have been formulated to meet demands for reduced levels of fat and salt as well as costs.

The Chef-Ready Stock Bases have been formulated to keep fat and sodium levels down without compromising on taste, according to AFS.

They can be used in seasoning blends, soups, sauces, gravies, fillings and marinades for tumbling or injecting.

An AFS spokesman said: “These bases provide the full flavor and mouth-feel profiles of chicken, beef, turkey, seafood, and a variety of vegetables.

“Scientific organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization have called for drastic reductions in the sodium content of processed foods, recommending an overall reduction of 50 percent in the next decade.

“At the same time, groups such as the American Heart Association are encouraging consumers to limit their fat intake to guard against diseases such as arteriosclerosis, and obesity.

“To help meet this need, Chef-Ready Stock Bases contain up to 25 percent less sodium and are significantly lower in fat than traditional bases, allowing for the development of foods that appeal to today’s health-conscious consumer.”

The 25 percent figure compares to standard paste bases and also AFS’s own dry base which is already on the market and mimics a paste base, according to Chris Kelly, director of technical services at AFS.

He told “Usually in a paste base and some of the other products you are limited to the amount of base you can use because they are so high in salt.

“These stocks are used as a base in end products and the end user would be able to adjust the salt in the final product.”

He added: “You can use our products at a higher level for stronger meaty flavors, but you don’t have a high amount of salt which the customers end up paying for.”

This is an advantage because as food manufacturers are search for ways to offset steeply climbing ingredient and energy costs.

AFS boasts that its bases come as dry powders, which are much less costly to ship than traditional liquids or pastes and do not require energy-intensive refrigerated storage.

They are said to be easy to formulate with, hydrate quickly, simplify production processes, and are retort stable. This means it doesn’t break down when subjected to high heat, which can create off notes.

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 and governments have been leading salt reduction initiatives.

According to the US Dietary Guidelines, over three quarters of the salt in the average American diet comes from processed foods. Food manufacturers have been trying to lower salt content in food.

Meanwhile an estimated 25.6 percent of US adults reported being obese in 2007, compared to 23.9 percent in 2005 which is an increase of 1.7 percent, according to a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report last month.

Experts say that efforts need to be made to reduce these figure and this provides opportunities for food manufacturers to position consumer products that address the obesity phenomenon.

Figures released recently from a Grocery Manufacturers Association's poll found that 92 percent of the food companies that took part were reformulating or introducing new products that have reduced fat or sugar.

Cost cutting

At least three of AFS’s new product launches over the last few months have been geared towards helping manufacturers reduce costs. They are a range of new egg replacement ingredients, browning agents and an ingredient system to reduce semolina.

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