Dubbed SodiumSense, Cargill introduced the ingredient system at the IFT expo in Las Vegas this week. Applications and technical services leader for salt at Cargill, Dr. Janice Johnson explained that it is based on functionally enhanced potassium chloride with a physically modified crystal structure.
She told reporters at a press conference during the expo: “We changed the shape of the salt crystals to make it stick better, and added some flavor in there to enhance the saltiness.”
The company has developed three different varieties of the sodium reduction system, with different flavor profiles according to the application, from sauces and cheese, to processed meats, prepared meals, salted snacks, soups, and baked goods. The three basic target areas are meat, cheese and bakery, Johnson said.
“We are working hard with food manufacturers to help them hit some of those government targets, especially for the school lunch program,” she said.
The product is heat, acid and freeze/thaw stable, and would be labeled on ingredient lists as potassium chloride and natural flavoring.
"In most cases, we can work with a customer to replicate the taste and look of their current product, but cut the sodium in line with reduction goals," Johnson said.
Food manufacturers have been under pressure to reduce sodium in their products for years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 70% of the sodium in US diets comes from processed foods, and most Americans consume far more than the 1,500mg to 2,300mg of sodium recommended as an upper daily limit by the US Dietary Guidelines.
SodiumSense brings the total number of sodium reduction ingredients in Cargill’s portfolio to 20.