Salt of the Earth "cracks code" for sodium reduction

9 Jun 2017

Salt of the Earth says it has cracked the code for creating tasty meat products with less sodium. The company collaborated with leading meat companies to meet sodium-reduction regulations in several types of meat products.

Salt of the Earth cracks code for sodium reduction

Salt of the Earth says it has cracked the code for creating tasty meat products with less sodium. The company collaborated with leading meat companies to meet sodium-reduction regulations in several types of meat products. Mediterranean Umami, a clean-label ingredient, is said to lower sodium by 25%-33% or more in processed meats.

“The food industry is under significant pressure to reformulate products to reduce sodium content,” said David Hart, Business Unit Director. “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.”

The company notes that sodium (salt) consumption in most Western countries is around twice the WHO recommendation for up to 2,300mg of sodium or 6g of salt per day, with the vast majority of this added salt coming from processed foods. Because of the public health benefit of reduced salt intake, Salt of the Earth notes, regulatory agencies have imposed increased regulations on salt content in foods. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) in the UK, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA and the Israeli Ministry of Health have all issued limits for salt content of meat products.

Salt, the company points out, is widely used in meat processing as a flavour enhancer and as a functional ingredient, and most processed meat products contain between 1-3% salt, with many also using monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins (HVP), nucleotides etc. as flavour enhancers. While effective, most of them—especially MSG—have a negative consumer connotation, Salt of the Earth claims.

Development work in collaboration with Israeli meat companies demonstrated that 25%-33% reduction in sodium can be achieved across a variety of meat products, including frankfurters, sausages and injected chicken pastrami. In addition, Mediterranean Umami was able to eliminate the use of MSG and/or yeast extracts in meat products, while keeping the desired texture. External tasting panels confirmed that the products with reduced sodium containing Mediterranean Umami were preferred by consumers.

“The need to meet new and strict regulatory limits on sodium content, presented a serious challenge,” said Ehud Zach, Food Technologies and Application Manager. “Ultimately, the double effect of Mediterranean Umami—sodium reduction combined with the elimination of artificial ingredients,—was a winning solution. Our clients preferred Mediterranean Umami over other solutions, such as MSG and yeast extracts, thanks to its functionality, taste and clean-label capability.”

Salt of the Earth says that formulating with Mediterranean Umami helps food manufacturers meet the demand for reduced-sodium and clean-label ingredients. It is a proprietary blend of vegetable concentrates and extracts, plus natural sea salt rich in umami flavor compounds. It is said to help enhance flavour and contribute to an overall savoury flavour profile, giving products a more desirable taste as well as reducing the use of salt.