Sodium is an essential mineral that is needed to maintain a healthy diet, but excess sodium can have a detrimental effect on health. In the last 10 years it has been highlighted by organisations such as Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) and Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) that we are consuming too much sodium which can be largely attributed to the increase in the consumption of processed convenience foods.
Sodium reduction strategies
Sodium reduction strategies aim to reduce the consumption of sodium either via the salt consumers add to food or through the hidden sources of sodium added by manufacturers. An excess of sodium in the body has been shown to cause an increase in blood pressure, a major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as stroke and heart disease. CVDs represent 30% of all global deaths, so a reduction in dietary sodium will relieve pressure on health systems and help to prevent unnecessary deaths. Currently the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that each individual consumes only 5g salt per day; in the UK the national average stands at 8.1g. This target cannot be met by consumers reducing table salt alone; manufacturers need to address the hidden sources of sodium contained in the food we eat.
For further information on global sodium reduction initiatives have a look at our map.
Achieving sodium targets
Baked goods are responsible for a large proportion of the sodium that we consume in our diet, with salt and baking powder being the major contributors. Although the removal of salt can allow a significant reduction in sodium, too much of a decrease can affect product functionality with regards to taste and mould-free shelf life. Raising agents often contribute more sodium than salt, allowing a significant reduction to be made without affecting functionality.
KUDOS™ Potassium Bicarbonate is now established as the most effective sodium reduction tool in the bakery market. Used as a direct replacement for sodium bicarbonate, the end product sodium level can be reduced by up to 50% with no change in end product taste, texture or quality.
PELL K™ Baking Powders provide a complete low sodium solution for manufacturers that are currently using sodium bicarbonate based baking powders. By combining functional acidulants with KUDOS™ Potassium Bicarbonate, an extensive range of blends provide raising agent options to suit all products and processes.
Maintaining the sodium/potassium balance
Potassium has an intricate relationship with sodium in the body; for good heart health they need to be in balance. The WHO has identified a deficiency in potassium worldwide caused by the declining consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Increasing dietary potassium intake can:
- Assist with regulating blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Help maintain muscle strength
- Improve efficiency of nerve impulses