Ctrl+Salt+Delete: Hitting Salt Reduction Targets In The Prepared Food Industry

Earlier, it was trans-fat, and now salt is the new dietary villain. Governments and health organisations are leaning on food brands to reduce sodium in prepared foods by at least 25% and as high as 40%. However, consumer preferences are still driven primarily by taste, which poses a challenge to food product manufacturers. And that’s where salt reducers come into the picture.

Salt Reducer Solutions For A Healthy Heart?

Increasingly, studies are linking excess salt in the diet to blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 5g (1 teaspoon) of salt per day/daily. However, a book published by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) called ‘Do You Eat Right’ indicates that the average Indian eats at least two teaspoons of salt daily, which is twice the recommended daily amount. Studies also suggest that a significant portion of the daily salt intake comes from packaged foods like snacks and pre-cooked meals or meals in a restaurant. According to the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, this percentage is 70% for Americans and about 66% for Europeans. This is why the prepared food industry has consistently been a big target for regulators worldwide.
In 2013, WHO recommended that member states reduce their population’s salt intake by 30 per cent by the year 2025, and many countries have made mandates to local food brands regarding the same, in addition to existing targets of reducing sugar, fat and calories. This has created a considerable challenge of continuously fine-tuning recipes to meet new targets while maintaining the flavour that consumers expect and still keeping products cost-effective.

Prepared and packaged food manufacturers are now seeking solutions from the laboratory for a salt reducer to add to their products to achieve their low sodium targets without compromising on taste.

Salt Replacer

India’s Low Salt Satyagraha

Although India hasn’t laid a mandate yet to meet the 2025 salt reduction target, it has created awareness campaigns about it due to rapidly increasing cases of blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. In 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India floated a nationwide campaign featuring actor Rajkummar Rao called Aaj Se Thoda Kam to nudge citizens to reduce salt, sugar and fat in their diets. In 2021, Eat Right India, another government initiative, held a National Low Salt Cooking Challenge aimed solely at chefs, food and nutrition professionals and technologists.

And considering how Indians have grown increasingly conscious about what they consume over the past few years, the time is ripe for food brands in India also to embrace the low sodium challenge and salt reduction in prepared foods. But this, too, poses some challenges in product development, and Symega can help retail brands and HoReCas overcome that. 

How To Approach Salt Reduction

There are two ways to go about salt reduction. The first is to bring it to the required level gradually. But this option has been rejected by the stakeholders because consumers are not very keen on buying packaged foods that taste low in salt by a significant 30%. And let’s face it. Indians love salt in their food. And a pinch too much. Additionally, salt plays a vital role in leavening and texture for the baking sector.

A far better option is to go for a salt reducer that provides the desired saltiness but with low sodium and without any other detriment to health. And that’s where Symega comes in.

SYMEGA’s Salt Reducer:

Symega’s team of food scientists has devised a salt reduction tool. It is a technology-driven sensory solution that enhances dishes’ taste profiles without using salt. With the help of this product, salt can be reduced by almost 30 per cent, making it a much healthier alternative to savoury food applications. Applications of Symega’s salt reducers solutions are vast. Not only does it offer solutions to Indian snack manufacturers in reaching their low salt targets, but a salt reducer also acts as a holistic approach to enhancing taste despite a low sodium ratio. In addition, extensive research and collaborative innovation have enabled Symega to create opportunities to use a salt reducer tool in packaged noodles for leading Indian brands.

For more details on the Symega Salt Reducer and how it can be integrated into your products, email us at marketing@symega.com 

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