Reducing Sodium Content In Foods With A New Salt Mix
Common salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts. Salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Salt is an essential nutrient and the amount of salt in the diet influences health. While high levels of sodium can be linked to health problems such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease, salt also plays a positive role in the areas of food preservation, sensory attributes and functional properties.
A new study published in the Journal of Food Science concludes that a certain salt mixture can be used to meet the high demand for products that need to be low in sodium but also have favorable sensory qualities.
Researchers with the University of Lavras, Brazil partially replaced sodium chloride in shoestring potatoes with a salt mix that consisted of potassium chloride and monosodium glutamate. They found that by using this salt mix they were able to reduce the sodium content by 65 percent on average. This mix also received a high sensory acceptance from 100 polled consumers. Plans call for more research to see if this method of mixing can be used for other food products.
Most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods like sliced bread. This means that the average American currently consumes about 3,500 milligrams of sodium a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the Institutes of Medicine urges limiting that number to between 1,500 and 2,300 less if you're at risk for high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
Remember that if you do decide to use table salt, unrefined sea salt is best. Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body.