Danisco has launched a novel flavour that it claims can reduce the salt in processed foods by 25 to 35 per cent, while retaining the original taste.
Danisco believes that its SALboosT product compensates for the flavour lost through salt reduction by activating the salt receptors on the tongue.
Containing just 4 per cent salt, Danisco claimed that its new ingredient has a significant flavor impact at a low dosage, and that it performs well in cooking sauces, pie fillings, soups, savoury biscuits, puff pastry, bread and salted fat spreads.
"The overall flavor impression is longer lasting, more rounded and generally more savoury," said the company.
Numerous public health campaigns have been drawing increasing attention to the perceived health risks associated with excessive salt consumption. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), most Americans consume two to three times the amount of sodium that is healthy.
Scientists such as Graham MacGregor, chairman of WASH - World Action on Salt and Health - are convinced that high salt intake is responsible for increasing blood pressure (hypertension), a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Some 75 per cent of salt consumed in the industrialised world comes from processed food. All this has led to growing pressure on food manufacturers to cut down on salt.
The problem however is that salt performs numerous essential functions in processing. In processed meat products, for example, salt is involved in activating proteins to increase water-binding activity, improves the binding and textural properties of proteins, helps with the formation of stable batters with fat, and also extends shelf-life with its anti-microbacterial effects.
Food makers looking to cut out salt must at the same time therefore look for adequate replacements.