Sodium reduction will be a hot topic for 2010. Media, as well as consumers, will be asking food companies, “What are you doing to lower salt in foods?” The reason involves new data, published in the January 2010, New England Journal of Medicine, and it is staggering. A decrease in dietary salt of 3g per day would result in 60,000-120,000 fewer cases of coronary heart disease; 32,000-66,000 fewer strokes; and 54,000-99,000 fewer myocardial infarctions per year--putting the potential benefits of reduced salt intake on par with population-wide reductions in tobacco use, obesity and cholesterol levels. “The magnitude of the health benefit suggests that salt should be a regulatory target of the FDA,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings underscore the need for an urgent call to action that will make it possible to achieve these readily attainable cardiovascular benefits.”

So what can industry do? Balchem, a world market leader in microencapsulated ingredients and water-soluble forms of choline for foods and supplements, can provide a solution. They have provided technical ingredient innovation in major classes of consumer food products, including baked goods and snacks, for decades. Balchem provides solutions to address the primary sources of sodium in many products: salt and chemical leavening agents.

Choline chloride has been known for decades as an effective, GRAS salt substitute. However, its characteristic hygroscopicity has ruled it out as a truly viable solution for reduced-sodium food product development, until now.

“Balchem’s C-Salt™ is a choline chloride-based salt replacer,” says Migue DeJong, Balchem’s  business director-food, “which provides significantly improved flow characteristics.” C-Salt addresses the moisture uptake and clumping problems of the past, making it usable in blends of dry bakery ingredients and savory seasonings.

C-Salt choline chloride can be used as a 1:1 “drop-in” replacement for salt. Its use can deliver reduction of sodium chloride up to 50%, without imparting undesirable flavor or otherwise complicating food processing operations, according to DeJong.

Balchem also offers Bakeshure® Complete, a prebalanced blend of sodium bicarbonate and encapsulated monocalcium phosphate that can easily be implemented in existing bakery formulas, without time-intensive effort in reformulation. A direct exchange of Bakeshure Complete for ordinary double-acting baking powder can decrease the sodium contributed by chemical leavening up to 50%, without any unexpected changes in functionality.

C-Salt and Bakeshure Complete--individually or together, these technologies can deliver nutritionally significant reductions in sodium, an important distinction that consumers will see on a food product’s label. pf

For more information:
Balchem Corporation • New Hampton, N.Y.
Balchem Applications Team • 845-355-5302

Bibbins-Domingo K. N Eng J Med. 2010; doi:10.1056/

Recipe for Soda Bread
Ingredients    Baker’s %
High-gluten flour    80.0
Patent flour    20.0
Raisins    50.0
Water    40.0
Whole eggs    22.0
Raisin juice concentrate    20.0
Butter, softened    12.7
Dry buttermilk solids    7.7
Branded baking powder    6.8
Sugar    5.0
Instant dry yeast    2.7
Branded encapsulated fumaric acid, 85%    1.3
Salt    1.0
Branded choline chloride-based salt replacer    0.3    

1. Condition the raisins in the water for 15 mins. and strain; keep the remaining water.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and blend for 1 min. on speed 1.
3. Add butter and blend for 1 min.
4. Mix the water, raisin juice concentrate and eggs in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl and mix on speed 1, just to combine.
5. Add raisins and mix briefly to incorporate.
6. Cover dough and let it rest for 30 mins.
7. Divide into desired loaf size and score the tops with an “X.” 8. Bake in a 325°F convection oven 30-35 mins., depending on loaf size. 
Source: Balchem Corporation