Average daily salt consumption in the western world, between 10 and 12g, is considered by experts to be far too high and give way to greater risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has deemed reducing average consumption to 6g per day of adults to be a realistic target for the next five years. Since it is estimated that one third of the salt consumed is 'hidden' in processed foods rather than sprinkled onto meals just prior to eating, salt reduction has become a major target for food manufacturers. The Israeli soy ingredients firm is looking to do its part to help them achieve their targets with its new 90 per cent isolated soy protein called Solpro 957. Sodium is typically used in the extraction process for soy protein isolates, and sodium levels in the ingredient are estimated to be between 11000 and 13000 ppm. Solbar, however, says it has found a way to reduce this to 3000 ppm, or 300mg/100g. Gary Brenner, VP marketing and development, told FoodNavigator.com that the company achieved this by adapting the process. "We are adjusting the levels of pH by using calcium instead of sodium." Since the method is proprietary, Brenner was not at liberty to disclose more details. But he said that the key issue has been to lower the sodium content and still maintain an acceptable flavour profile. Solbar has set about testing its new ingredient in different applications. So far, it has reported favourable results for a pizza dough tested in the US, and a ready-to-drink beverage. Brenner said that in the latter application the company also had to be sure the isolate was dispersible. Other key factors to be taken into consideration in different applications include ensuring that the protein has no metallic taste, low viscosity, and works well in meat and food applications. Solpro 957 is being launched at the Vitafoods trade show in Geneva this week. Brenner said that other potential food categories include processed meats, convenience foods, instant soups, bars cereals and beverages. As for the sodium reduction targets for finished food products, in many cases manufacturers are looking to reduce levels by as much as 15 to 20 per cent. In addition to looking at the straight sodium in their formulations, they are also requiring their ingredient suppliers to take parallel action so that the overall effect is greater. Solbar's new management, which took over the running of the company when a group of investors acquired a 51 per cent stake in May 2007, is focusing on "quick and unique solutions that can bring value to its customers". This innovation is seen to be a demonstration of this strategy.