Consumers have big concerns about salt, and with good reason. Research shows that reducing the average daily sodium intake in the U.S. to 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon of salt) would prevent 11 million cases of hypertension and save $18 billion in health care costs each year.1 This health trend is reflected in the marketplace, with consumers checking labels to find lower-sodium products.
A Food & Health Survey revealed that 60 percent of consumers consider sodium content when buying packaged foods and beverages. Furthermore, 57 percent of respondents said they actively compared the sodium content of packaged products and chose the food with lower numbers.2 This leaves food producers in a quandary between offering a healthier product over a tastier one. The food industry knows less salt means less flavor, begging the question: How can you not have your salt and eat it too?
Luckily, there’s an easy solution, and it can be found using Ascentra®. A clean-label dairy powder that naturally amplifies the perception of salt, while allowing for the reduction of sodium content in a product. Because it boosts the umami effects and savory nuances of a product, it can eliminate the metallic notes associated with potassium chloride (a common salt substitute). With Ascentra, food producers can reduce sodium and achieve a richer, more rounded flavor instead of delivering that blunt taste associated with table salt. This proprietary, milk-based fermentation process offers the perception of salt. Taste buds get tricked, and the result is salt flavors that linger and taste brighter, allowing consumers to savor the taste a bit longer. All of this while reducing the actual sodium content used in product formulation by 25 to 50 percent.
In addition to lowering sodium, Ascentra has benefits such as clean-label results and lower ingredient costs. And because it can boost the flavor of a product while lowering the sodium content, food producers may experience a cost savings. While most sodium replacement ingredients cost more than sodium chloride, dairy-based solutions such as Ascentra can replace high-cost ingredients with more economical ones. Additionally, dairy-based fermentation is versatile; it’s able to be used in a variety of applications including soups, snacks, and sauces.
If food producers are looking for a clean label, reduced-sodium appeal on packaging while keeping a robust salt flavor, they need to seek out an ingredient partner with dairy-based fermentation savvy. The insight offered from the right ingredient developer could reveal that a food producer’s needs may exceed the limits of commonly offered stock sodium replacement products. Expert ingredient partners can use their fermentation talents to customize flavors, creating bold and distinctive savory profiles to perfectly fit the product, all without compromising wellness benefits.