Umami Powder salt reduction ingredient released amid consumer snacking boom

Amid a heightened trend for snacking during the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli sustainable snacks group Salt of the Earth has developed a new clean-label sodium-reduction ingredient with wide product application across the sector.

According to a newly published report by John Lewis and Waitrose, UK consumers have changed their shopping and eating behaviour during the lockdown, with 38% of the consumers admitting to increased snacking. And, according to the New York Times, for many people, strict personal rules for food adopted before the quarantine have eased, and they are reaching for foods that trigger a comforting childhood memory or are simply a go-to snack to relieve stress.

Mediterranean Umami Powder is based on Salt of the Earth’s all-natural Mediterranean Umami, recipient of the IFT17 Innovation Award, microencapsulated onto a carrier of sea-salt and native starch. This new sodium reduction ingredient is designed as a 1:1 drop-in replacement for salt in snack applications, yielding a 40% reduction in sodium. Mediterranean Umami, is a clean-label, plant-based solution designed to maintain the desired savoury taste that consumers crave.

Mediterranean Umami Powder is also in demand from spice blenders and flavour houses as a tool to provide flavour and reduced sodium in seasoning blends, as it works in harmony as a key component of complex flavour systems.

David Hart, Business Unit Director for Salt of the Earth, said: “One of the key requirements was to maintain a craveable salty and savoury flavour as well as being a natural and clean-label ingredient,” explains Hart. “Since snack foods typically have a relatively high amount of sodium, Mediterranean Umami powder can provide up to 40% reduction in sodium, or be used incrementally, in order to allow for a significant but lesser reduction in the amount of sodium in the snacks. When incorporated as an addition to a seasoning blend, it can then be applied to the snacks using dusting, tumbling, or oil slurry technologies.”

He adds: “We are excited to bring our Mediterranean Umami Powder to market after an extensive development process. Building on the success of our Mediterranean Umami liquid, many customers requested a powder version. The powder is a focused solution and does an amazing job cutting sodium in snacks without sacrificing flavour. It currently is being used by an iconic multinational brand, and we are on track to multiply this success globally.”

According to WHO, April 29, 2020, most people consume too much salt—on average 9–12g per day, or around twice the recommended maximum level of intake of 5g. Salt intake of less than 5g per day can help reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and coronary heart attack for some adults. The growing demand for a powdered sodium reduction solution encouraged Salt of the Earth to develop the new product.

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