New technology to help manufacturers reduce salt levels?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 26th February 2009

One of the world’s leading flavours and fragrances firms has developed new technology that they believe will assist food manufacturers address the issue of high salt levels in processed foods.

Givaudan has reportedly developed an extensive portfolio of ingredients to help enhance salt perception in low sodium applications. The range will be able to be applied to products from soups and sauces, to snacks and meat as well as for cereals and bakery goods.

“Givaudan understands that high levels of salt in foods are no longer acceptable to the consumer, but we also know that great tasting food does not have to be high in salt,” Andreas Haenni, Givaudan’s Global Head of Savoury, said. “Our approach is one of asking what makes food taste great rather than just thinking of salt in isolation.”

By investing in sensory validation techniques to prove and measure flavour performance, the company is effectively developing a salt curve: a visual representation of the taste effects of sodium chloride over time. The taste impact of salt is broken down into a number of phases: first delivering a distinctive initial mineral ‘bite’, then a ‘body’ or ‘mouth-feel’ phase, followed by a characteristic clean, lingering profile.

Rather than trying to replace salt, the research is initially looking to understand its taste functionality in the customer’s application. Then a flavour is created which builds back those important taste aspects of the salt curve needed to drive consumer preference when sodium levels are reduced.

“The best results are obtained through close customer collaboration to optimise flavour performance, maintain or improve label integrity and minimise the cost impact of reformulated products,” Mr Haenni advised.