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Salt: How Much is Too Much?

By: Simon Poppelsdorf, Bell Flavors & Fragrances
Posted: May 18, 2009

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But restricting the daily choride intake, instance up to 2,000–2,500 mg, is extremely difficult. Especially after considering that a typical Reuben sandwich alone contains 3,200 mg chloride, or that chicken teriyaki contains about 2,200 mg, or an order of beef and cheese nachos with sour cream and guacamole contains 2,430 mg. Moreover, it is estimated that almost 70–80% of the food intake in the United States comprises processed food. This makes controlling chloride intake an even more difficult task for consumers.

Flavor Solutions

The solution that my company proposes to its customer considers potassium as a key element of reducing chloride in food. The advantage is that potassium chloride has almost the same processing properties as sodium chloride. Using potassium chloride as a replacement for sodium chloride is not a new concept. However, it is not widely implemented because of the bitter, metallic aftertaste that appears when potassium chloride is used above approximately 10% as a replacement.

As a solution to this, our team has developed a range of natural flavors to mask this undesirable aftertaste in many applications. The masking flavor enables the food processor to use up to 60% of potassium chloride. In addition, sodium chloride reduction can be accomplished through a flavor matrix that incorporates flavor enhancers, fat mouthfeel flavors and spice flavors.

Despite this, a single masking flavor cannot be a solution to all applications, necessitating culinary and creative R&D staff for tailor-made solutions.