Patent granted for Tate & Lyle’s SODA-LO sodium reduction product and manufacturing process
Engineered using a patent-pending process that re-crystallizes standard table salt to create microscopic free-flowing hollow ‘microspheres’, Soda-Lo can help firms slash sodium by up to 50% and still retain their clean labels because it is still listed as ‘salt’ on the ingredients list.
The ‘microspheres’, which deliver a disproportionately salty taste for their size by maximizing surface area relative to volume, are ideal for topical applications such as savory snacks or products inherently low in moisture so their structure is maintained.
They also work well in applications where the oil and fat content micro-encapsulates and protects the tiny salt crystals during processing.
Soda-Lo has a nice interaction with tomato
However, tests show Soda-Lo can also help firms reduce sodium in everything from cheese and bread to tomato soup.
While a soup application might not seem logical (won’t the tiny salt crystals just dissolve before they can work their magic?), for some reason, Soda-Lo does enable sodium reductions in tomato soup, Tate & Lyle research chemist Sue Butler told FoodNavigator-USA at the Supply Side West show in Las Vegas last year. Click here.
“We’ve found that there is something about tomato-based soups, we’re thinking it might be a pH effect, but Soda-Lo just has a nice interaction with tomato.”
"The granting of the patent confirms the novelty of Soda-Lo and establishes it as a truly innovative salt reduction ingredient” said Angelique Gunderson, Health and Wellness Platform Commercial Lead at Tate & Lyle.
The patent is owned by Eminate Limited, a subsidiary of The University of Nottingham, UK.
Tate & Lyle licensed Soda-Lo from Eminate in late 2011 to commercialize it globally. Under the license agreement, Tate & Lyle assumes responsibility for commercializing the technology on a global basis including manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing.
Soda-Lo is patented in the US and New Zealand and remains patent pending in other locations including Europe.
Why small is beautiful
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 process developed by UK-based scientist Dr Stephen Minter 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).