Tate & Lyle sees ‘considerable commercial opportunity’ for Soda-Lo

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Soda-Lo can help firms slash sodium levels in cheese
Soda-Lo can help firms slash sodium levels in cheese
The microscopic salt crystals at the center of a new sodium reduction licensing deal between Tate & Lyle and UK-based start-up Eminate will initially be manufactured in the UK by toll manufacture, but might be directly produced by Tate & Lyle in the future, the firm has revealed.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA after striking an exclusive global deal ​with Eminate to sell and market salt-reduction technology Soda-Lo this week, Tate & Lyle group vice president, investor relations Mathew Wootton said: “Initially, Soda-Lo will be manufactured in the United Kingdom by toll manufacture.

“At some point in the future Tate & Lyle may decide to manufacture Soda-Lo ourselves. We have identified considerable commercial opportunity for the product.”

Soda-Lo works best in bakery and snacks

He added: “In order to make Soda-Lo a global success, a partner, such as Tate & Lyle with a global footprint and customer reach, will be the best way to achieve this. Soda-Lo works best in products such as bread, savory pastry, savory pie fillings, pizza, cheese and baked savory snacks ​[but] T&L will perform additional development work to expand the use of Soda-Lo ahead of a global launch.”

Soda-Lo, which was developed by Eminate’s Dr Stephen Minter, has been used in a variety of products including a private label bread from one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, and will continue to be distributed in the US and Canada by Wisconsin-based Main Street Ingredients (MSI) for the time being, said MSI’s director of new business development Guy Bouthillier.

“We expect T&L to reach out to us to discuss how things will be handled following its official launch​ [in 2012].”

While Soda-Lo was more expensive than standard salt, its clean-label credentials gave it an advantage over many salt replacers, and it was being tested by several US and Canadian manufacturers in the bakery and snacks area, Bouthillier told our sister publication FoodManufacture.co.uk earlier this year.

“Soda-Lo has generated a lot of attention as a new technology which enables a reduction in salt use of 25-50% across a wide range of food products. Receptiveness … is excellent – and increases significantly once potential users taste it.”

Hollow salty and round …

It is well-known that the smaller the crystals, the higher the salt perception. However, simply grinding salt to make the particles smaller does not deliver as the tiny particles quickly lose their free-flowing properties and stick together.

By contrast, Soda-Lo has been engineered using a patented process that re-crystallizes salt to create free-flowing, microscopic hollow balls that at 5-10 microns are a fraction of the size of standard salt (c.200-500 microns), deliver an intense, salty hit on the taste buds, and can still be listed as ‘salt’ on labels.

While logically, the micro-crystals should be best-suited to topical applications such as salty snacks/potato chips – as once dissolved, salt is salt – they have also enabled firms to achieve significant sodium reductions in a wide variety of products from cheese to bread.

Related topics: Suppliers, Sodium reduction

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