K+S Kali launches potassium chloride brand

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sodium chloride

Germany’s K+S Kali has unveiled its new brand of food grade potassium chloride called KaliSel, which is billed as a cost-effective salt replacer in food.

The food industry is currently operating to a tough mandate of reducing salt (sodium chloride) levels in packaged and prepared foods. Although sodium chloride is essential to human life, excessive consumption has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke in a number of studies.

Many countries now recommend adults consume no more than 6g of salt a day – but many people actually consume as much as double that. It is understood that much of the salt in diets in developed countries is not added at table, but is contained in prepared foods, where it serves as a flavour enhancer, thickening agent, stabiliser or preservative.

Potassium chloride can be used in place of sodium chloride to fulfil these technical roles.

The company say it is “an outstanding, yet cost-effective solution for salt substitution in food.

“The reason: The two vitally important minerals KCl and NaCl are, from a chemical point of view, closely related. Beyond that, KaliSel provides the body with necessary potassium, which is essential for many metabolic processes.”

The product is said to come from a natural source, to be very pure, and to comply with international regulations. It contains particularly low levels of secondary salts.

The application areas to which the new potassium chloride brand is suited include bakery products, meals, processed meats and poultry, soups and sauces, cheese products, beverages and baby foods.

When used to replace up to 30 per cent of sodium chloride in a formulation it can “work in almost every formulation without affecting taste”, ​the company claims.

Salt reduction techniques

The new brand is being introduced in London this week at a conference focused on salt reduction.

In recent years ingredients companies and scientists have come up with an armoury of solutions to help food manufacturers meet salt reduction targets without impairing the pleasurable aspects – or the safety – of their products.

For example, a micro salt developed by Emanate is going on sale in the UK, made using patented technology to change the structure of salt crystals to create free-flowing, microscopic hollow balls with the consistency of talc. At 5-10 microns, they are a fraction of the size of standard salt (c.200-500 microns), and deliver an intense hit on the taste buds.

Scientists from Korea have also proposed that salty and umami tasting extracts from saltwort, sea tangle, and mushroom plants could be combined and used as a low sodium salt substitute for foods.

Meanwhile, the European Sensory Network has been conducting research on ways to ‘trick’ the senses into thinking a product tastes saltier than it is, using aromas from foods that people expect to be salty tasting.

Other industry approaches include flavour enhancers, nucleic acid, yeast extracts and peptides.

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