Cargill Launches SodiumSense Salt-Reduction System at IFT

June 27, 2012

SodiumSense can serve as a 1:1 replacement for salt.

Cargill (Minneapolis) today introduced its newest system to reduce the use of sodium in food, by up to 50%. Called SodiumSense, the system debuted at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo happening this week in Las Vegas.

At a press conference today, Cargill’s applications and technical service leader Janice Johnson, PhD, described SodiumSense as a “functionally enhanced potassium chloride with a physically modified crystal structure.” Johnson said this modified structure allows crystals to better adhere to food products, like potato chips, and maintains texture and microbial control similar to what salt molecules provide. Moreover, Cargill has added natural flavoring to not only boost salty flavor but also help mask some of the bitter notes that can be associated with potassium chloride.

Johnson said that SodiumSense can serve as a 1:1 replacement for salt. “We’re really trying to make it a turnkey solution for our food manufacturers,” she said. “They’re really looking for a 1:1 replacement, and in most cases you will be able to just put in one part SodiumSense for one part salt.”

When using SodiumSense to replace salt, manufacturers should still keep an eye on water activity, she warned. “Because this is a weight-to-weight replacement, [you need to make sure] that you are achieving the water activity that you truly need to get.” She added that SodiumSense is stable under a wide range of processing conditions, including high shear, temperature, and pressure.

Cargill introduced three versions of SodiumSense: for beef, poultry, and pork; for tomato-based products and cheese; and finally, for bakery items, broths, bases, sauces, and dressings. Johnson said the key difference between these versions is their flavor profile.

Johnson added, “It’s really hard to replace salt because it’s a unique molecule that has unique properties, from functionality and microbial management all the way…to flavor. So [trying] to take it out and…put something back in isn’t easy to do. What we’re trying to do is to [give] our food manufacturers…lots of tools to play with. And the fact that we’re offering this many options can help manufacturers come to solutions a lot quicker.”