UK firm launches 'cost-effective' salt replacer

Related tags Salt Food

Alexander Flavours has developed an ingredient that it claims could
help food makers reduce the salt content of their products by up to
50 per cent.

The UK-based company said that the ingredient, called Nalow, can be used at a starting dosage rate of 0.02 per cent, and be increased until the right effect is attained.

"Nalow does not leave any after taste and its cost in use is very comparable to salt,"​ company director Richard Scotney told FoodNavigator.

"You will not be adding major cost to your products by using this ingredient; in fact cost in use could be slightly cheaper than salt based on a £0.09kg price for salt."

Scotney claimed that food firms can therefore use the ingredient to replicate the flavour profile of original products, or help in the development of new products, with half the amount of salt.

Nalow is the latest salt replacer to hit the market. Increasing regulatory - and consumer pressure on the food industry to continually reduce levels of sodium in processed food has opened the market to new ingredients.

And there is certainly scope for further reductions. In the UK for example, currently 75 per cent of consumer's salt intake is derived from processed foods. With the next FSA review due in 2008, finding alternative ways to reduce sodium content without disastrous results in taste has become an increasing priority.

"Feedback we have gained from speaking with the industry has lead us to believe that manufacturers are struggling to attain the desired flavours within applications due to the low levels of salt in recipes and an ingredient that helps to replace the enhancement characteristics of salt would be very beneficial,"​ said Scotney.

One problem in the past has been the fact that salt reducers and replacers have tended to be very expensive. In addition, salt is one of the hardest ingredients to replicate due to its functionality and its flavour enhancing qualities. It performs numerous essential functions in processing, including binding and extending shelf-life.

But Alexander Flavours believes it has found a viable solution.

"Obviously salt is one of the cheapest ingredients to purchase and the advantage of our ingredient is that it will not drastically increase the 'cost in use' equation, compared to using salt,"​ said Scotney.

Nalow currently comes in four variants. The standard version is available in both liquid and powder formats and is recommended for use in sauces, soups, crisp snack seasonings, batter and breaded coatings.

Nalow Beef is supplied as a liquid and is targeted for use in beef products such as gravies, sauces and burgers. The recommended starting dosage rate for this flavour is 0.1 per cent.

Nalow Chicken is also supplied as a liquid and is targeted at chicken products, while Nalow Pork, supplied as a powder, is for pork. The recommended starting dosage rate for both these flavours is 0.05 per cent.

Related topics Ingredients

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