Bakers Journal

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Webinar discusses new sodium reduction technology


October 19, 2012
By Bakers Journal

Oct. 19, 2012, Minnesota – A recent webinar hosted by
FoodBusinessNews.net and sponsored by Nu-Tek Food Science discussed
Nu-Tek Salt, a new option in sodium reduction.

Oct. 19, 2012, Minnesota – A recent webinar hosted by FoodBusinessNews.net and sponsored by Nu-Tek Food Science discussed Nu-Tek Salt, a new option in sodium reduction.

Dr. Sam Rao, executive vice-president and chief innovation officer of Nu-Tek Food Science, discussed the multiple options for sodium substitution. These include potassium chloride based substitutes, Autolyzed Yeast Extracts (AYE) and derivatives, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins (HVP) and derivatives, flavours (natural and artificial) or a combination of the above. What works best depends on the matrix of the food, Rao said. “Challenge always has been taste, functionality and cost,” all of which are important but taste is the predominate concern. In developing a salt substitute, Nu-Tek’s focus was to come up with a cost-effective solution. “The least expensive is potassium chloride, but its drawback is the metallic bitterness, and the level of saltiness is not equal to sodium chloride.” Nu-tek also wanted to ensure their product was natural and allergen-free, and preferably a 1:1 replacement of salt to make it easy for applications.

Nu-Tek’s solution was to create a single crystal that contains all three pieces of the puzzle: potassium chloride, a modifier and a carrier (a starch). They accomplished this through wet process technology, in which they were able to control the pH and PI levels. Each crystal contains potassium chloride, a starch carrier and a modifier, and the single crystal formula minimizes the metallic bitterness. The startup company has partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the American Institute of Baking in its baking and snacks applications.

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Gary Cain, of Cain Food Industries, a supplier of technical raw materials for the wholesale baking business, spoke to Cain Food Industries’ experiences with Nu-Tek salt.

“We have found no rheological changes, no changes in mix times or proof times, and no additional flavours are needed,” Cain said. “It works in the whole baking process. I think the biggest challenge we have is convincing people that this really does work.”

Cain claims his company has found a 50 per cent sodium reduction in flatbreads, english muffins and tortillas, with no difference in shelflife. “We have seen no difference in crumb structure, texture or softness . . . or production, changes or scheduling.” They have also begun working with laminated doughs, such as danishes and croissants, and have so far not seen any affect on the lamination of the dough.

“The biggest advantage is there’s no flavor difference,” Cain says. “No consumer is able to tell we’ve reduced the salt by 33 to 50 per cent.”