Salt of the Earth Ltd. has cracked the code on creating tasty meat products with less sodium. The company collaborated with leading meat companies to meet sodium-reduction regulations in several types of meat products. Mediterranean Umami, a clean-label ingredient, lowers sodium by 25%-33% or more in processed meats.
“The food industry is under significant pressure to reformulate products to reduce sodium content,” says David Hart, Business Unit Director. “We enjoy working in partnership with our customers to help them create healthier products. Mediterranean Umami is highly relevant to the meat industry—an ‘on-trend’ solution that allows for significant sodium reduction, while being clean-label and natural.”
Sodium (salt) consumption in most Western countries is around twice the WHO recommendation for up to 2,300mg of sodium or 6g of salt per day. The vast majority of this added salt comes from processed foods. Because of the public health benefit of reduced salt intake, regulatory agencies have imposed increased regulations on salt content in foods. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) in the UK, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA and the Israeli Ministry of Health have all issued limits for salt content of meat products.
Salt is widely used in meat processing as a flavor enhancer and as a functional ingredient. Most processed meat products contain between 1-3% salt, and many also use monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins (HVP), nucleotides etc. as flavor enhancers. While effective, most of them—especially MSG—have a negative consumer connotation.
Development work in collaboration with Israeli meat companies demonstrated that 25%-33% reduction in sodium can be achieved across a variety of meat products, including frankfurters, sausages and injected chicken pastrami. In addition, Mediterranean Umami was able to eliminate the use of MSG and/or yeast extracts in meat products, while keeping the desired texture. External tasting panels confirmed that the products with reduced sodium containing Mediterranean Umami were preferred by consumers.
“The need to meet new and strict regulatory limits on sodium content, presented a serious challenge,” says Ehud Zach, Food Technologies and Application Manager. “Ultimately, the double effect of Mediterranean Umami—sodium reduction combined with the elimination of artificial ingredients,—was a winning solution. Our clients preferred Mediterranean Umami over other solutions, such as MSG and yeast extracts, thanks to its functionality, taste and clean-label capability.
Formulating with Mediterranean Umami helps food manufacturers meet the demand for reduced-sodium and clean-label ingredients. It is a proprietary blend of vegetable concentrates and extracts, plus natural sea salt rich in umami flavor compounds. It helps enhance flavor and contributes to an overall savory flavor profile, giving products a more desirable taste as well as reducing the use of salt.
Salt of the Earth will be exhibiting at the 2017 Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo (IFT17), booth #5019. Chef Osher Eidelman will prepare fresh dishes highlighting Mediterranean Umami.