Salt Microspheres ‘Shake’ New Ground
A new salt-reduction ingredient, Soda-Lo™ Salt Microspheres, is spotlighted by Tate & Lyle, Booth 1640. Created using a special process, the ingredient “shakes” new ground in the area of salt replacement and the formulation of savory foods.
According to the company, the ingredient is produced using a patent-pending technology that turns standard salt crystals into what are described as free-flowing, hollow salt microspheres. These smaller, lower-density crystals are said to efficiently deliver salty taste by maximizing surface area relative to volume. Consequently, it is possible to enjoy the same salty taste while consuming lower levels of salt.
Typical salt molecules range from 40 to 800 microns in diameter and are solid. The new salt-reducing ingredient is consistently smaller in size and hollow. It is this hollow format that efficiently delivers salty taste by maximizing surface area relative to volume. The molecules also dissolve more rapidly on the tongue, further contributing to that desirable initial impact of salty taste.
Because it is made from real salt, Soda-Lo has none of the bitter aftertastes or off-flavors associated with some other salt compounds or substitutes. With the ingredient, food manufacturers can reportedly reduce salt levels by 25% to 50% in various applications without sacrificing taste. It works best in low-moisture systems or when fat or oil phase is used as the delivery vehicle, as it is necessary that these smaller, lower-density crystals are intact when they reach the tongue.
The ingredient has been shown to work well in applications including baked goods, breadings and coatings, and salty snacks, and its suitability continues to be assessed in a number of other food products.
Soda-Lo is available in two grades: extra fine and fine. Extra fine has an average particle size of 20 microns and provides the best distribution in a food matrix. Fine is best for topical applications, as the average particle size is 200 microns and it is designed to provide the appearance of salt.
Tate & Lyle licensed the ingredient from Eminate Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Under the license agreement, Tate & Lyle assumes responsibility for commercializing the salt-reduction technology on a global basis including manufacturing, product development, sales, and marketing.