Introducing Micro Salt
Nottingham-based Eminate, the firm behind a new breed of microscopic salt crystals that is helping manufacturers slash sodium and retain their clean-labels, will soon launch a retail consumer product called Solti, and which will be marketed with the strapline 'a pinch less salt'. Eminate engineers salt particles, using patented technology, to change the structure of salt crystals to create free-flowing, microscopic hollow balls with the consistency of talc. At 5-10 microns, they are a fraction of the size of standard salt (c.200-500 microns), and deliver an intense hit on the taste buds, but are still listed as 'salt' on food labels. This has proved particularly appealing to firms trying to avoid potassium chloride, flavour enhancers, nucleic acid, yeast extracts and peptides.
While Eminate had initially focused on the bakery sector for its micro salt - dubbed SodaLo - it had since conducted extensive trials with Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, vegetarian sausages, crisps, sauces, soups, breakfast cereals, muffins, pizza bases, rice crispie-style snacks and bakery premixes, Eminate's chief technical officer, Dr Stephen Minter, told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
"We've reduced the salt in Cheddar cheese by 50% with the same taste and shelf-life."
The results in bread have been particularly impressive, enabling plant bakers to cut salt by more than 80% without impacting volume, texture or weight and achieve significant increases in shelf-life as the tiny salt crystals cross-link gluten in dough more effectively, helping to lock in moisture, said Minter.
"In a standard supermarket bloomer we can go from 1.8% salt to 1%, while in a standard plant 800g sliced loaf made with the Chorleywood bread-making process, we've gone from 1.8% to 0.7%."
Oil-insoluble version solves crisps challenge
Crisps had initially been a challenge, as the salt crystals had dissolved in oil on the crisps' surface and lost their impact, he said.
"But then we came up with an oil-insoluble version and it solved the problem. In veggie sausages, we have helped the manufacturer of one famous brand in this market reduce salt by a third."