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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Kerry’s Tastesense replicates salt without all the sodium

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Dive Brief:

  • Ingredients giant Kerry announced it has launched Tastesense Salt, an ingredient that does not add sodium but retains the desired salty taste, for snack formulators to use on products like potato chips.
  • The ingredient uses botanical extracts, peptides and ferments to deliver a salt alternative that maintains a salty flavor profile. In some applications, Tastesense lowered the sodium of a snack by 60%, according to the company.
  • The breakthrough comes as snacking companies aim to make their products healthier as better-for-you offerings continue to gain steam.

Dive Insight:

Kerry’s efforts to create a scaleable sodium-free salt comes as food formulators and CPGs are looking for ways to make their products both satisfying and nutritionally better. Many fear that if salt is reduced, consumers will be more hesitant to purchase snacks like chips and pretzels.

The Irish company pointed to a 2021 World Health Organization report which suggested formulators should aim to lower the sodium content of its products by 40% in order to improve nutritional profile.

“We are lowering sodium far beyond what anyone thought possible with our innovative Tastesense™ Salt solutions while maintaining delicious flavor,” Hugo Leclerq, Kerry’s global portfolio director for sodium reduction said in a statement. “With these market-leading solutions, we hope to empower customers with the knowledge and capabilities to meet consumer demands for reduced sodium across the snacking category.”

In order to assess what the main issues were that formulators ran into when aiming to lower salt content of snacks, Kerry created a program titled Sodium Reduction Simulator on its website. It identifies the taste profile of chip flavors like Salt & Vinegar and Sour Cream & Onion and details the specific flavors and what removing sodium does to its taste.

While snacking is more popular than ever, leading companies in the space are under pressure to reconstruct the ingredients they use to create them as nutrition experts ring the alarm bells about the impact of high sodium on people’s blood pressure and overall health. According to the CDC, 89% of American adults consume excess sodium.

Last fall, CPG giant PepsiCo announced its aim for 75% of its snack products to meet or be below category sodium targets by 2030.

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