Sodium is an essential micronutrient that our bodies need in small quantities. Three slices of bread or a teaspoon of salt is enough, so the average person may be consuming more sodium per day. Studies show that more than 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
We consume too much sodium, mainly due to too much sodium in processed packaged foods, so the food industry and food scientists are always looking for ways to reduce sodium in processed foods. In a newly published paper, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Cahmpaign comprehends a comprehensive review of the scientific literature related to strategies for reducing sodium intake during food production /strong>.
“Since we consume large amounts of food, while the unit amount of salt in the food has not increased, the amount of sodium consumed has increased.” Co-author of the paper, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition ( Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, FSHN) Professor Soo-Yeun Lee said.
The human body needs only about 450 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, and the maximum intake should not exceed 2,300 mg. For people with high blood pressure, the intake should be less than 1500 mg. However, the current daily average intake is as high as 3000mg~3500mg, which has exceeded the upper limit by 50% or even 100%. More than 70% of sodium intake comes from processed and packaged foods, which include cured meats, breads, cheeses and soups.
The human body needs only about 450 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day | Pixabay
Researchers specifically investigated how to reduce sodium in foods, and since palatability is necessary for consumers to accept food, the researchers focused on the human senses Data aspects.
“In this review, we look at ways to reduce salt in different food systems. Snacks such as solid salted peanuts or salty potato chips, and Cheese or bread, it will be very different. In liquids like soup, the salt is completely dissolved. Facing different food systems, our strategies to reduce the salt content while providing palatability are completely different.” Professor Li explained “We hope this work will give us insight into the various salt reduction technologies available. This could help food companies gain more information and use different strategies.”
Ultimately, the researchers identified five main sodium reduction strategies: Salt reduction, salt replacement, flavor modification, physical modification, and functional modification.
Aubrey Dunteman, lead author of the paper, said: “One of the most straightforward ways to do this is to cut salt from your diet, which is one of the most common strategies for reducing sodium intake. key part.”
Of course, complete elimination of sodium is impossible because of its taste and other functional value. For example, it is used to marinate meat and to raise noodles.
Aubrey Dunterman said: “Many of our studies and observations combine methods such as salt removal with salt substitutes, flavor changes or salt removal, and physical modification.”
Although in many studies tries to use salt substitutes, such as potassium chloride, calcium chloride, or other chlorides or acid salts. However, these substitutes tend to have a bitter taste, so they are often used in combination with flavor modifiers, such as umami substances or bitterness blockers.
Another method is Physical Improvement. For example, salt crystals can be encapsulated, which can change how the salt dissolves in the mouth. This can alter people’s perception of salty taste, thereby reducing the amount of sodium necessary to produce the salty taste. Alternatively, it is possible to create an uneven distribution of salt in the product, which can further enhance the perception of food saltiness through taste contrast.
Salt Crystal | Flickr, spicetruck (Nari) / CC BY-NC 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/)
“Finally, there are functional improvements. For example, instead of using sodium-based preservatives in cured meats, a celery-powder preservative) instead of sodium nitrate.” Aubrey Dentman points out that functional improvements were a small part of this survey, as this type of sodium reduction research typically does not use taste as the primary assessment method.
If consumers want to reduce their salt intake, the best strategy is to cook their own meals and reduce their intake of processed and packaged foods. Cutting out salt through constant training practice is basically a “Salt-Saving Diet“.
Professor Lee suggested: “If we cook at home, we can consciously reduce salt and gradually adapt to low-salt foods. People can actually adapt to foods with low salt levels, but it is constantly A process of learning and adapting, and of course adding herbs and spices etc to add flavour. “For example, consumers of canned soups can buy low-sodium varieties and add salt to them,” she said. This gradually adjusts the amount of salt so that the food suits our tastes. “
Edit: Crispy Fish
Typesetting: Yin Ningliu
Corresponding AuthorSoo-Yeun Lee: Department of Food and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign), focusing on longevity and healthy diet research and food development.
First AuthorAubrey N. Dunteman, Graduate Student, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, USA
Publish MagazineComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
PublishedFebruary 24, 2022
Paper titleCompendium of reduction sodium strategies in foods: A scoping review
Article AreaFood Science