MINNEAPOLIS, July 13 At the Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) Food Expo, July 18-20 in Chicago, Cargill will demonstrate how food and beverage manufacturers can significantly reduce sodium in their products while providing the great "salty" flavor consumers desire. Specifically, Cargill will showcase a reduced sodium tortilla made with the SaltWise® sodium reduction system, a blend of ingredients that provides a salty taste while reducing sodium content from 25 to 50 percent, while also providing food manufacturers with the functionality of salt.
"Sodium, which is mostly obtained through salt, is one of many essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Salt also plays an important functional role in many foods, such as texture and shelf stability," said Carlos Rodriguez, marketing manager, Cargill Salt.
"As with many foods we like, salt is best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle that includes exercise," said Rodriguez. "However, according to the government's health study(1), consumers are ingesting sodium levels above the daily maximum amount recommended by the current 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In addition, with another study showing that 77 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods(2), the challenge for food manufacturers is to offer balanced options for consumers."
According to Rodriguez, trends in sodium reduction aren't being driven by consumer preference alone. "Industry and regulatory trends around salt have implications for our customers, as well," he said.
For example, the National Salt Reduction Initiative is a voluntary program encouraging food manufacturers to reduce salt by 25 percent in five years, and a significant number of major food companies, national health organizations and states, cities and related entities have joined this partnership. Public and private organizations, such as the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are reviewing policies related to sodium/salt content, as well. Rodriguez further discusses the topic on the Cargill Innovation Exchange.
Cargill's SaltWise® sodium reduction system addresses two major technical challenges that food and beverage manufacturers face when they're looking to reduce salt in their products.
"The first challenge is reducing the sodium content without affecting the taste consumers love," said Janice Johnson, food applications leader, Cargill Salt. "The second challenge is maintaining the texture, functionality and shelf-stability that salt provides."
According to Johnson, the SaltWise® sodium reduction system takes a holistic approach to sodium reduction by using a blend of ingredients that can be used to reduce sodium, yet maintain the functional properties that salt delivers.
"We know that consumers are looking for lower-sodium foods that taste good. With the SaltWise® sodium reduction system, manufacturers have a new way to change how people think about reduced-salt foods," she said. "The tortilla we're showcasing at IFT is just one example of how we can help our customers innovate to develop successful, great-tasting products with less sodium."
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 138,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.
(1)National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006
(2)Mattes and Donnelly, JACN, 1991; 10:383