Most Americans know they eat too much salt--according to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes 3,436mg of salt a day, rather than the recommended intake of 2,300mg--and, this is linked to a series of health problems, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, 75% of this sodium intake is traditionally from pre-packaged foods, rather than salt added to foods. Despite this strong trend in “salt abuse,” consumers are reluctant to substitute low-sodium offerings that lack flavor. This has been the challenge for food manufacturers, as they work on reduced-sodium formulations.

Natural ingredient supplier Diana Naturals has now launched SAV’UP, a new range of Natural Solutions for Sodium Reduction especially designed for savory applications. SAV’UP enables manufacturers to reduce the sodium content in savory recipes by up to 25%, while also increasing the overall flavor intensity and perception of “roundness” in the finished product. Basically, this solution was designed to address three goals: (1) sodium reduction, (2) flavor enhancement and (3) a clean label declaration.

The key to creating SAV’UP, explained Celine Berger, PhD, savory market director, was finding synergistic effects between different ingredients developed for that purpose. “As an example,” she said, “one part of the solution comes from identifying, sourcing and processing vegetables that were naturally high in components known to enhance savory flavors. Our team on this project included the company’s product developers, agronomists and process specialists. They all worked together to identify the right vegetable species and varieties; to find the optimal time to harvest the vegetables for the highest content of the compounds of interest; and to preserve them after each process step.”

SAV’UP also offers a very friendly and clean-label declaration, compared with “flavors” or “yeast extracts.” SAV’UP does not cause any off-flavors or metallic tastes that some mineral solutions can bring and is non-allergenic, compared to dairy-based products. In addition to reducing sodium, SAV’UP solutions can also be used as an alternative to the controversial flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).

SAV’UP can be labeled either as “vegetable blend” or with each vegetable concentrate listed separately. It is designed for applications including soups, sauces, condiments and seasonings. Some references are kosher- and halal-certified upon request. SAV’UP is available in both liquid and powder form, depending on customer needs.   NS

For more information:
Diana Naturals • Valley Cottage, N.Y. • 845-268-5200

Sensory Attributes of Reduced-salt Soups
Diana Naturals conducted a sensory tasting for a vegetable soup application. The panel was comprised of 15 “non-expert” judges, who were asked to evaluate three samples: (1) a full salt content vegetable soup with 0.8% salt; (2) 25% salt-reduced vegetable soup with 0.6% salt; and (3) 25% salt-reduced, plus SAV’UP Solution (0.6% salt, plus the natural solutions for sodium-reduction ingredient) vegetable soup. Evaluation criteria were on three different sensory attributes (scale: 0-10 points), which were “salt taste,” “umami taste” and “global flavor intensity.”

Judges were able to easily discriminate between the full salt and reduced-salt options; however, they did not detect a significant difference for the two criteria, “umami taste” and “global flavor intensity.”

For the sample with SAV’UP added, the judges perceived that the “salt taste” impression was significantly higher than for the “25% salt reduced” sample, but slightly lower than the target “full salt content.” On the two other criteria, “global taste intensity” and “umami taste,” the judges perceived significant improvement, compared with the samples containing only salt.