The Next Generation of Sodium and Calorie Reduction Innovations

29 Oct 2013

There is no doubt that health and wellness has been a macro trend of the last 10 years, if not longer, and it is now routine activity for a product developer to consider. In 2012, Leatherhead Food Research undertook an industry survey as part of our ongoing emerging technology and open innovation initiative Food Innovation: […]

The Next Generation of Sodium and Calorie Reduction Innovations

There is no doubt that health and wellness has been a macro trend of the last 10 years, if not longer, and it is now routine activity for a product developer to consider.

In 2012, Leatherhead Food Research undertook an industry survey as part of our ongoing emerging technology and open innovation initiative Food Innovation: INTENT. The survey asked what objectives were considered the most important in the context of investment in new technology. It was found that over 55% still considered that, despite big moves within the manufacturing industry to improve sustainability and resource efficiency, the primary technology innovations needed to remain focused on the product, either to deliver better quality or new products.

Health and wellness was considered as less of a priority than both sustainability and resource efficiency, maybe indicating a tide of change in the focus of development teams for the coming years.   However, when asked to consider a range of issues or themes and whether an emerging technology was the only way of achieving a step change in that area, an interesting picture emerged.

In Figure 2, the need for investment in salt and fat reduction is clearly shown, suggesting that reductions in salt and fat that are possible by currently known methods are at their maximum. This was further endorsed through an independent report produced by Leatherhead Food Research, later in 2012, on behalf of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) which echoed this summary in relation to salt.

Sodium reduction

Salt reduction has been a key focus of the food industry for a number of years, and whilst the incremental and stealth reduction of salt has been successful in reducing the overall sodium content of many products, a step change will be needed to achieve further reductions. This next generation of reduced salt products may come in the form of true innovation through novel processes, or equally from a culinary approach of using different lower sodium blends and enhancers.

Leatherhead’s Discovery Tours at FiE will explore some of the key opportunities in this arena; technology-driven solutions range from Tate & Lyle’s patented hollow crystal Soda-Lo; some that may seem a reversion to ‘good old-fashioned’ culinary techniques enhancing umami and savoury characteristic with blends of salts, yeast extracts and herbs, to BioOrigin’s BioEnhance bacterial fermentation derivatives that enhance salt perception with no sodium addition.

Calorie reduction

Health and nutrition has been one of the grand challenges for the food and drink industry over the last decade, and whilst Regulation (EU) No. 432/2012, which established the list of general function health claims (Article 13.1 claims) in May 2012, has changed how it is that many companies approach the challenge, it certainly has not stifled the flow of innovation. FiE will certainly showcase many functional seaweed extracts from Nexira to Volactive UltraWhey from Volac. One of the significant changes in the calorie reduction ingredients market since FiE 2011 has been the acceptance and subsequent widespread consideration of stevia. Often seen as a natural sweetener, there will be many stevia suppliers and brands exhibiting at FiE, including Cargill/Truvia, providing a range of options to suit a range of product applications, and PureCircle/Stevia 3.0, which is promoted as being the next generation of stevia.

So, whilst some may consider sustainable production, resource and energy efficiency and waste minimisation as the next big thing, there is no getting away from the fact that salt, fat and sugar reduction are here to stay.

Related tags

Blogs Innovation

Related news

Healthy eating guidelines could help EU hit the methane reduction targets

Healthy eating guidelines could help EU hit the methane reduction targets

1 Jul 2022

National healthy eating guidelines calling for 50% cut in red meat and 25% drop in dairy consumption could be key for the European Union (EU) to meet its 2030 methane reduction targets, according to the Changing Markets Foundation.

Read more 
Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

30 Jun 2022

Finnish company Fazer is transforming the oat hull side streams from its existing oat mill into the low-calorie sweetener, xylitol.

Read more 
Parmesan partnership to put ‘blockchain ready’ digital chip on all cheese wheels

Parmesan partnership to put ‘blockchain ready’ digital chip on all cheese wheels

29 Jun 2022

A new line of food-safe and secure digital labels on each Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheel will deliver previously unseen levels of traceability, product control, and quality assurance, says the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano (CFPR).

Read more 
‘Game-changing’ tech such as automation and synthetic biotechnology the future for manufacturing, VTT predicts

‘Game-changing’ tech such as automation and synthetic biotechnology the future for manufacturing, VTT predicts

28 Jun 2022

“Game-changing technologies” such as synthetic biotechnology – combining engineering principles with biology in natural production processes – and more automation could revolutionise European food manufacturing, as well as for a host of other sectors i...

Read more 
World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf

World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf

27 Jun 2022

Tomato leaves that are currently seen as a major waste stream in horticulture could provide a reliable and sustainable source of rubisco – a widespread plant protein that has potential in food and drink, say researchers.

Read more 
Boom or bust: Are consumers ready for the alternative protein revolution?

Boom or bust: Are consumers ready for the alternative protein revolution?

24 Jun 2022

While excitement over alt-proteins is high among industry and investors, major challenges remain for companies looking to convince consumers to switch to a plant-based ‘meat alternative’.

Read more 
New EU mineral oil limits an ‘important step for food safety’

New EU mineral oil limits an ‘important step for food safety’

23 Jun 2022

The EU’s decision to restrict aromatic mineral oils (MOAH) in food products has been hailed as an important step in food safety and consumer protection but consumer organisation, Foodwatch, is calling for binding regulation to go one step further.

Read more 
NutriScore logo could help young people make healthier food choices – but more awareness is needed

NutriScore logo could help young people make healthier food choices – but more awareness is needed

22 Jun 2022

The European Nutri-Score labelling system can help young people make healthier food choices, according to a Spanish study – but one third still do not know what the label indicates.

Read more 
Mars launches animal-free chocolate with Perfect Day’s whey protein

Mars launches animal-free chocolate with Perfect Day’s whey protein

21 Jun 2022

Mars has launched a vegan chocolate bar made with biotech unicorn Perfect Day’s animal-free whey protein made via precision fermentation.

Read more 
Unilever in $120m biotech venture to scale palm oil alternative

Unilever in $120m biotech venture to scale palm oil alternative

20 Jun 2022

Unilever has teamed up with US biotech company Genomatica to commercialise its palm oil alternative produced via a biotechnology fermentation process.

Read more