European project achieves 30% sodium reduction

by Jeff Gelski
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EDE, THE NETHERLANDS — New products with over 30% lower levels of sodium are on the market in Europe thanks to a system based on salt replacers, masking agents, flavor enhancers and top notes, which are aromas that prompt association with saltiness, according to Ede-based Nizo food research.

A consortium of Vion Food Group, dairy company Friesland Campina and Nizo food research began working on the system in 2008. The project, called Sodium Minus, identified aromas that create a perception of saltiness and incorporated them into meat and cheese products, which led to salt reduction while retaining taste and bite in the products.

“Further research is necessary to optimize the new technologies and to implement them in a second and third range of meat products with even lower sodium content,” said Ronald Klont, head of R.&D. and Vion.

Jo Penders, project manager at Friesland Campina, said, “Cheese remains tasty. We created tools to control taste producing cultures, such that the salt perception is enhanced dramatically in a natural way.”

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