J Johnson, (Technical Service Leader), D Keffer (Technical Project Manager) and A Lape (Senior Scientist)
Research suggests a direct correlation between dietary sodium intake and blood pressure, with the effect being more pronounced for individuals with prehypertension or hypertension. Therefore, various governmental and health organizations recommend dietary sodium intakes that are lower than what is typically consumed to help decrease hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. To help reduce sodium in the food supply, various geographies have introduced governmental regulations or voluntary guidelines for sodium targets in key food categories. In addition, market insights suggests consumers are seeking foods that are lower in sodium. As a result, many food manufacturers are publicly committing to reduce sodium in their products.
The first step in reformulating foods to a lower sodium target is to identify the sources of sodium in the formula. Many sodium-containing ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate, have specific functional roles in food applications. Salt (sodium chloride) is unusual in that it has many roles including microbial management, protein and texture modifications, and taste. As a result, salt is widely used in food products (e.g. meats, bakery products, and cheeses) and is the greatest source of sodium in the food supply chain. No other single ingredient can replace all the functional roles of salt in foods, which creates many technical challenges for food product developers.
To demonstrate the functional roles of salt in food products, various meats, cheeses and bakery products were made using various levels of salt and potassium chloride (KCl) as a substitute for salt. Reducing salt content in hams without KCl replacement creates a product that has a shorter shelf-life and less protein fiber alignment, which results in loss of moisture (juiciness, product yield) and texture. Using partial replacement of salt with KCl can help bring back texture of cheeses, but its bitterness flavor can be detected in mozzarella cheese. In breads, removing salt leads to excess gas production due to uncontrolled yeast fermentation and less gluten development, which leads to large gaping holes in the loaf. KCl can help control fermentation and develop gluten, but has limitations at high usage levels due to taste. Salt also contributes to the expansion of extruded cereal and snack products. In conjunction with sensory testing, advanced analytical methods, such as X-Ray tomography, may be used to help understand the role of salts in food on a molecular level. Removing salt from an extruded cereal formula alters the air cell size distribution and wall thickness, which impact the taste and texture of the product.
|Create Date||July 6, 2018|