Finding a solution to cut high sodium while keeping the benefits
In the food and beverage world, salt is a common ingredient that helps make a lot of the products we enjoy every day. From meats to snacks to soft drinks, salt plays a big role in their creation; but why? Why are we so dependent on salt to create our food and beverages?
Salt is composed of 2 simple elements (Sodium and Chloride) but still has so many uses. Salt is used to help extend shelf life of edible products, process meat, control microbial growth and so much more. But one of the more popular benefits of salt is, of course, to enhance taste. Consumers and manufacturers have been using salt for thousands of years to give their edible products that desired taste they are looking for, and now there is more and more awareness of the health risks that are contributed by salt consumption.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported that the average intake of salt (per day) in the United States is 3,400 mg. That is almost 50 percent more sodium than what experts recommend. With that comes the higher risk of high blood pressure which leads to heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. To help lower this risk, the FDA is constructing a short term plan (2 years) and a long term plan (10 years) to lower the sodium intake in the United States. These plans would be a voluntary solution for manufacturers and restaurants to gradually lower the amount of sodium in their products. Instead of cutting it out completely, or by big amounts, the FDA recommends cutting 10-15% of sodium every year so consumers won’t be able to notice the change.
So what does this mean for food and beverage manufacturers? Will the cut back on sodium affect their products? Of course, if you cut out salt from your food you will probably notice the difference. But with too much salt you are risking your customer’s health. So what can you do?
There is a solution that is growing popularity to help both sides of the issue. Salt replacers are becoming a viable ingredient for many manufactures to cut the sodium out of their product. These salt replacers simply take out the sodium of salt (Na) and replace it with potassium (K). With that comes less sodium that is causing health issues and gives manufacturers the option to continue using salt in their product.
The main concern about these salt replacers is taste. Do these replacers have the same taste as salt? Some people have noticed a metallic taste when comparing the two; others say they didn’t notice the difference. Really, it all comes down to the type of replacer you are using.
There are a variety of “blends” available for salt replacers. There are blends that take out all the sodium and replace it with potassium; and there are blends that take out only a certain percentage of sodium. That is the main factor that determines the taste of the salt replacers. The more sodium you take out and replace with potassium, the more the taste will differ from regular salt. But at the same time the more sodium you take out the more health risk you are removing as well.
Whether you prefer to use salt or want to find an alternative, there are many choices out there to meet your needs.
How American International Foods, Inc. can help you:
American International Foods are leaders in the food ingredient supply chain who leverage deep relationships with hundreds of food ingredient producers around the world to provide food and beverage manufacturers the highest quality materials at the best possible prices.
AIFI offers a wide selection of salts and salt replacements to best fit your needs. From sea salts, to no-sodium salt replacers, to a custom made blend; AIFI will help you find the perfect solution you need.