Israel firm ‘cracks the code’ on making meat salty and healthy

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bacon is high in salt and health experts recommend cutting down on rashers
Bacon is high in salt and health experts recommend cutting down on rashers

Related tags: Meat processors, Glutamic acid, Monosodium glutamate

Israel-based ingredients company Salt of the Earth claims its popular product, Mediterranean Umami, can cut sodium in processed meat by up to a third.

The company, which doubled sales of the ingredient in the first half of 2016​, has collaborated with top Israeli meat processors to meet tough salt reduction regulation as governments around the world crack down on salt.

By using its blend of vegetal concentrates, extracts and natural sea salt, the Israeli business claimed that use of the clean-label ingredient reduced sodium in beef and poultry products by between 25-33%.

The work comes as the food industry faces regulatory pressure to reformulate products. The UK-based Food Standards Agency, the Food and Drug Administration in the USA and the Israeli Ministry of Health have all issued limits for salt content in meat recently. And Salt of the Earth is waiting in the wings to help meat companies meet these targets, it claimed.

‘On-trend solution’

The food industry is under significant pressure to reformulate products to reduce sodium content,​” said David Hart, business unit director at Salt of the Earth.

We enjoy working in partnership with our customers to help them create healthier products. Mediterranean Umami is highly relevant to the meat industry, an ‘on-trend’ solution that allows for significant sodium reduction, while being clean-label and natural.​”

Salt intake dangerously high

Demand for low-sodium meats that taste salty is growing​, as meat processors juggle the conflicting conundrum of taste versus health.

The World Health Organization (WHO), a leading voice calling for a salt crackdown, claims Western sodium intake is twice as high as it should be. Around 2.5 million deaths could be prevented if people stuck to the recommend daily dose of 6g of salt per day, according to the WHO.

Salt is commonly used by meat processors as a both a flavour enhancer and functional ingredient. Many companies also use monosodium glutamate (MSG) to improve taste, although the ingredient remains controversial with consumers.

Through a series of tests, Salt of the Earth said it was able to eliminate the use of MSG and lower sodium while still retaining a taste and texture that was acceptable to consumers. This, it claimed, means it has “cracked the code​” to making tasty meat with lower sodium.

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