Salt Awareness Week is an important public health campaign that highlights the damaging effect of a high-sodium diet. It urges the food industry to play a more active role in supporting the public in reducing the amount of salt in their diets.
The UK government’s new salt-reduction targets for 2024 have a significant impact on the bakery market. To meet these tightening government initiatives as well as changing consumer demands, the bakery industry must adapt and innovate.
Bakery manufacturers can often struggle to find alternative ingredients that reduce salt content without compromising the taste and texture of their products. Here at Kudos Blends, our technically-driven team of chemists and bakers has developed a range of low-sodium baking powders that effectively reduce sodium levels in baked goods whilst maintaining the same great flavour and quality that consumers love.
The human body needs sodium for normal muscle and nerve function. It helps cells and organs to work properly by regulating blood pressure, supporting muscular contraction, and keeping nerve impulses running smoothly. It is also one of the electrolytes responsible for maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in the body. However, consuming too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to other health issues such as heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
When we think of foods that are high in sodium, we are normally drawn to foods where we can taste the salt. Unfortunately, this is where the confusion starts as not all sodium in food comes from salt alone.
In the food industry, the interchangeable use of the terms ‘salt’ and ‘sodium’ can be misleading, with many people treating them as the same thing. There are however some important differences. In simple terms, sodium is a chemical element found in many compounds including, but not limited to, table salt, a combination of sodium (40%) and chlorine (60%).
Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat and vegetables. In food production, sodium-based additives are often used, such as monosodium glutamate (flavour enhancer), sodium bicarbonate and sodium acid pyrophosphate (chemical leavening agents), sodium nitrite (preservative), and sodium benzoate (preservative and pickling). All these ingredients contribute to the total sodium content of foods, just as table salt (sodium chloride) does.
Ultimately, we need sodium in our diet, but in reduced quantities. By understanding the differences between salt and sodium, appreciating all sources of sodium in our diet, and promoting healthier alternatives, we can make significant strides towards improving our overall health. Salt awareness week is an opportunity for the bakery industry to lead the way by embracing low-sodium solutions to improve the health of their customers while also remaining competitive in the market.
Kudos Blends’ low-sodium baking powders and leavening agents can offer significant sodium reduction alongside additional benefits such as greater volume and consistency, clean flavour profiles, and mineral fortification, all in an easy-to-use format.
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