Food scientists strive for sodium reduction

May 14, 2013

In the May issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Associate Editor Karen Nachay writes about how food manufacturers are trying to overcome formulation challenges to develop better-tasting, low- and reduced-sodium products.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans regarding sodium have evolved over the years from "avoid too much sodium" to "reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among people who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or ." (USDA/HHS. 1980: USDA/HHS, 2010) Over time, food scientists have developed a number of ingredients and techniques to improve foods made with low or reduced sodium.

Recent research demonstrates the following ways science can be applied to decrease sodium in foods by affecting consumers' taste perceptions:

  • Changing the structure of salt such as forming a with of salt can influence how consumers perceive the intensity of the taste because the new structure has a greater surface area, which dissolves much faster, thereby boosting the perception of saltiness.
  • Certain flavor/aroma compounds may enhance salt perception without significantly affecting the flavor profile of a product.
  • Compounds from ingredients like yeasts and glutamates present in umami-rich foods like mushrooms, aged cheeses, soy sauce, kombu, and tomatoes may contribute to salt perception.

Even though new technologies and ingredients show promise in helping consumers reduce sodium, the high cost factor impacts the use of these technologies.

Explore further: Voluntary reduction has failed as processed and fast food salt levels remain high as ever

More information: Read the Food Technology article here.

Related Stories

Voluntary reduction has failed as processed and fast food salt levels remain high as ever

May 13, 2013
The dangerously high salt levels in processed food and fast food remain essentially unchanged, despite numerous calls from public and private health agencies for the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium levels, reports ...

The stealth sodium revolution

March 8, 2012
Researchers with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services have teamed up for HHS's sodium surveillance efforts.

Canadians support interventions to reduce dietary salt

March 13, 2013
Many Canadians are concerned about dietary sodium and welcome government intervention to reduce sodium intake through a variety of measures, including lowering sodium in food, and education and awareness, according to a national ...

Adults worldwide eat almost double daily AHA recommended amount of sodium

March 21, 2013
Seventy-five percent of the world's population consumes nearly twice the daily recommended amount of sodium (salt), according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism ...

Most pre-packaged meals, snacks for toddlers contain too much salt

March 21, 2013
Nearly 75 percent of commercial pre-packaged meals and savory snacks for toddlers are high in sodium, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity ...

How much sodium are you eating? New online salt calculator sums it up

March 11, 2013
Canadians can track how much salt they're eating and identify the main sources of sodium in their diet using a new online Salt Calculator.

Recommended for you

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

Clay-based antimicrobial packaging keeps food fresh

August 21, 2017
Sometimes it seems as if fresh fruits, vegetables and meats go bad in the blink of an eye. Consumers are left feeling frustrated, often turning to less expensive processed foods that last longer but are less nutritious. Now ...

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.