Salt reduction is a major mandate for the food sector. Average adult consumption of salt – sodium chloride – is 11g a day, but governments recommend no more than 6g. Some health campaigners say a max of 5g would be wise.
In the UK, the Food Safety Authority has set a voluntary target of salt in all kinds of sausages of 1.5g per 100g. It recognises that product binding and succulence can be an issue, as well as end product extrusion. “However, product data shows that levels at or below 600mg sodium per 100g are achievable,” it says.
Galactic’s new solution, called Promeat Plus, is suitable for use in both cured and non-cured meat products. As an example, it can allow the reduction of salt in a Frankfurter sausage by as much as 40 per cent. While many technologies to aid salt reduction focus on the flavour implications Galactic, which produces all its ingredients from natural fermentation of sugar, says it has tackled texture, colour and shelf-life too.
Alain Bernard, marketing development manager, explained that the ingredient “helps ascorbate action to maintain the redness of the meat. This allows customers to reduce the amount of nitrite in the product with no impact on colour and texture.”
The shelf-life is said to be unaffected.
The new Promeat Plus ingredient can be adapted to suit a customer’s specific needs, the company says. It is currently available in Scandivinia, Benelux and France; more countries are expected to be added in the near future.
Galactic is not the only company to have worked on ways to preserve meat products with less salt. For instance Purac has some ingredients that are said to reduce the risk of listeria in processed meats, which may be the subject of salt reduction efforts.
Meanwhile, researchers from Mexico have investigated the use of magnesium chloride and gellan gum that compensate for structural differences that come about when fat and salt levels are reduced.