Sargento targets cheesemaking process to reduce sodium

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Salt Taste Sodium

Sargento says it has invented a process for making cheese with 25 percent less sodium and minimal impact on taste and texture, without added ingredients.

The company could not reveal details on the exact nature of the process as it is patent-pending, but said that reducing sodium without the need for salt replacers or flavor maskers responds to consumer preferences. Sargento said that in its research work, it had found that consumers wanted ‘natural cheese taste’ in reduced sodium products and was keen to learn lessons from the low-fat cheese market, in which it quickly became clear that consumers would not buy products that they see as unacceptable in terms of taste and texture.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA.com at the IFT show in Chicago last week, Sargento’s director of marketing Jane Gapinski said: “Reduced sodium cheese is not new. There’s product out there but it does not taste good…One of our chefs said that the trend was coming about five years ago. Then over the past two years there has been more and more in the press and government.”

She explained that cheese presents specific challenges in terms of sodium reduction, as salt does not only play a role in terms of flavor, but also has an important functional role in increasing the product’s shelf life. In addition, due to the maturation process for cheese, Gapinski explained that every time there is experimentation with a new formulation or procedure, it is necessary to wait for four to eight weeks before testing is possible.

“It is patented processing for reduced sodium, involving a change in the make process rather than in the ingredients,”​ she said. “We tried both ammonium chloride and potassium chloride and neither of them worked…We have a very stringent panel process with sensory groups.”

Technology principal R&D at Sargento John Brody said in a company statement: “We knew in our heart and soul there was no point in putting a cheese on the market that didn’t taste good…We were able to successfully reduce sodium levels with salt replacers, but the cheese never passed our stringent sensory hurdles. In the end, we gave up on salt replacers and just removed 25 percent of the sodium.”

Related news

Related products

show more

How to Make Plant-Based Better for You

How to Make Plant-Based Better for You

SweeGen | 24-Jan-2023 | Technical / White Paper

Plant-based food and beverage sales are booming, thanks to a growing desire among consumers for healthier food options, with sugar among the top ingredients...

Growing Up Bioactives

Growing Up Bioactives

Glanbia Nutritionals | 13-Sep-2022 | Business Advice

Parents are prioritizing their children’s health and wellness with 66% indicating they give their child nutritional supplements once a day*. Support their...

Opportunity Alert: Mobility Matters to your Consumers

Opportunity Alert: Mobility Matters to your Consumers

NZMP (Ingredients by Fonterra) | 16-Aug-2022 | Infographic

The World Health Organization says mobility is critical for healthy ageing, as it’s a core concern seniors face. With mobility’s significant impact on...

Consumers are ditching diets for intuitive eating.

Consumers are ditching diets for intuitive eating.

Fonterra | 02-Aug-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Interest in intuitive eating is reportedly gaining as much traction with consumers as the ketogenic diet. However, without similarly strict macronutrient...

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars