Kerry develops a reduced sodium solution for the savoury snack industry

Published: 10-Apr-2024

The seasoning, designed for implementation on savoury snacks, allows a reduction of sodium by up to 40%

Kerry, a global supplier of nutritious and sustainable food solutions, has announced a development in its low-salt offerings – Tastesense Salt. 

The product delivers a salty and rich savoury taste without adding sodium, retaining positive flavour properties and replicating salty impact, body and linger. 

According to a World Health Organization report on sodium levels, savoury snacks are ranked within the top five food categories being targeted by World Health Organization members[1] for salt reduction. 

Removing sodium can leave the sensory profile out of balance, impacting the temporal sensation of when taste and flavour are perceived

While the global WHO benchmark for snacks is 500mg per 100 grams in potato-based chips, with pretzels higher in sodium at 720 mg per 100 grams, many markets exceed those levels. 

With such high sodium levels found in savoury snacks globally, the challenge persists in achieving much greater sodium reductions – levels of 40% or more – without losing the salty flavour of the snack. 

Commonly used to enhance flavours in savory snacks, sodium plays a critical role in shaping the overall flavour of a snack seasoning. If simply removed or reduced, its absence can leave the sensory profile out of balance, impacting the temporal sensation of when taste and flavour are perceived, as well as the perception of seasoning homogeneity. 

Rebalancing taste while achieving an equal or better consumer liking becomes extremely challenging depending on the percentage reduction and starting point. 

While small percentage reductions of up to 10% can be achieved by stealth reformulation, the starting point is relevant, going from 700 mg to 630 mg of salt may be easier to achieve than going from 500mg to 450 mg, furthermore the flavour tonality of the snack itself will also be a critical factor. 

To demonstrate key challenges in sodium reduction for savory snacks, Kerry’s sodium reduction simulator was created to assess overall, upfront, middle and lingering taste challenges depending on flavour profile and desired sodium content. 

“Salt reduction isn’t just an immediate brand imperative, it’s a humanity imperative and essential to creating a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Hugo Leclerq, Global Portfolio Director for Taste Fermentation – Sodium Reduction. “We are lowering sodium far beyond what anyone thought possible with our Tastesense Salt solutions while maintaining great flavour profiles for consumers. 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.”

Tastesense Salt is firmly grounded in the robust scientific foundation that defines all ingredients within Kerry’s Taste Modulation Portfolio.




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