New sodium-reducing ingredient for cheese

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th March 2013

Global bioscience ingredient manufacturer, Chr. Hansen has introduced a new ingredient innovation that is says will enable cheese producers to cut the sodium content of their products by half, while still maintaining a similar taste and texture.

Chr. Hansen’s new ‘SaltLite’ concept includes cultures that have been specifically selected to enhance the flavour of reduced sodium cheese and contribute to improved texture and reduced bitterness.

“Reducing sodium in cheese is technically challenging as it has adverse impact on taste, texture and shelf life,” said Timothy Wallace, Enzymes Marketing Manager, Chr. Hansen. “Commercial attempts to reduce salt in cheese have been largely unsuccessful due to poor product quality. Although consumers desire healthier foods, most are unwilling to trade quality for health.”

But Wallace says cheese producers will be able to reduce sodium levels by up to 50 per cent with the new ingredient, while still producing excellent cheese.

“Moreover, ‘SaltLite’ contains only natural ingredients already used in the manufacture of cheese,” he said. “We are proud to make this breaththrough innovation available to the global cheese industry.”

Sodium levels in food

Although salt is an essential ingredient in cooking, food preservation and the manufacture of processed food, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends consuming less than 2,000mg, or 5 grams, of salt per day, because of the links between excessive sodium consumption and high blood pressure.

Average sodium consumption in countries around the world ranges from 2,600 to 7,200 mg per person per day, meaning a 25 to 27 per cent decrease in sodium consumption to meet WHO dietary recommendations.

Salt is made up of 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chloride. As much as 90 per cent of sodium in the human diet comes from salt, and an estimated 75 per cent of sodium comes from consuming processed food.

Most western countries and regions including the US, Canada and the EU have voluntary initiatives to reduce dietary sodium intake, including salt reduction in cheese.

Australian salt recommendations

The recently revised Dietary Guidelines issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has advised that Australians should aim to reduce their salt intake, citing links between excessive salt consumption and high blood pressure. High blood pressure, according to the NHMRC, is the most common complaint seen by Australian doctors.

As reported in Australian Food News, Australian manufacturers and the Federal Government have recently reached an agreement to reduce the levels of sodium in savoury crackers.

Chr. Hansen's new 'SaltLite' will reduce sodium content of cheese