A scientific review has suggested that wider knowledge on the role of sodium chloride in baked goods is needed should industry wish to reduce levels successfully with little disruption to quality and taste.
The review, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology, has called for “a global consideration of the detailed effect of a comprehensive range of NaCl (sodium chloride) on the main flour component (starch and protein)”.
It suggested that currently there are “less favourable sodium-free salt alternatives on the market” and that increased basic knowledge on sodium reduction is needed to develop new sodium substitutes or mixtures with comparable rheological, technological and sensory qualities.
Researchers from the German Technology University of München have attempted to pool together current knowledge on the role sodium chloride plays in baked good formulations and the impact reduction has on dough and yeast-leavened products. The full review can be found HERE.
Industry scrambles to reduce…
Sodium intake has been linked to heart problems, strokes, non-cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
The study outlined that 25-35% of the required sodium intake per day and person is taken up by cereal products, and sodium chloride (NaCl) is the “greatest contributor” to salt levels in processed foods.
“As salted, yeast-leavened products are a major source of dietary sodium, the baking industry needs to explore ways to reduce sodium in its products,” researchers said.
“However, the replacement of NaCl in food is complex, in particular in yeast-leavened products.”
“Therefore, the impact of NaCl (sodium chloride) on shelf-life, rheology and technological attributes as well as on the sensory quality of yeast-leavened products needs to be understood,” they said.
It is important to understand the “comprehensive mechanism of NaCl in foods”, they added.
Sodium’s role in foods
NaCl is essential as a preservative, for technological and structural reasons and it also has sensory implications, the study said.
Understanding the complex impact sodium has on all of the above will aid successful reduction, the review suggested, and industry efforts to scan this information must be made.
Source: International Journal of Food Science & Technology
Available online before publication: doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2012.03048.x
“Sodium chloride – sensory, preserving and technological impact on yeast-leavened products”
Authors: M. Beck, M. Jekle and T. Becker