Market Insights

Basel, 29 November 2021

Sodium reduction with Jungbunzlauer sub4salt®

Sodium reduction continues to be widely discussed within the food industry and because of very recent activities by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), particularly in the USA. Americans over the age of 14 intake an average of 3,400 mg/day of sodium compared to the recommended limit of 2,300 mg/day (as set by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine).

A high sodium diet can lead to various health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. When sodium is consumed in excess, the body retains more water in order to dilute the high sodium levels. This increases the amount of fluid around the cells as well as increases the volume of blood circulating throughout the body. In order to compensate for the increase in fluid, the heart uses more pressure to pump blood through blood vessels. This excess work can cause blood vessels to become stiff, causing high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and possibly heart failure.

On October 13th 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released voluntary guidelines aimed at food manufacturers designed to reduce the general population’s sodium intake over time. In the past, the FDA has made multiple public health efforts directed towards the general public to reduce sodium levels. These efforts, which mainly included education initiatives, have been unsuccessful. The FDA hopes that by changing its approach, it will be more successful in reducing national sodium levels. To quote the FDA, “This guidance is intended to provide measurable voluntary short-term (2.5-year) goals for sodium content in commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods to reduce excess population sodium intake, while recognising and supporting the important roles sodium plays in food technology and food safety.” The guideline aims to lower the average sodium intake to 3,000 mg/day over the 2.5-year period. Although this goal is higher than the recommended limit of 2,300 mg/day, the FDA hopes that gradually reducing sodium levels will allow companies to gradually reformulate and allow time for consumer preference to adjust.

If you are interested in learning more about FDA’s Sodium Reduction Strategy, you can read their final guidance here on the FDA website.

Jungbunzlauer’s response to sodium reduction is sub4salt®

sub4salt® is a patented mineral salt blend containing sodium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium gluconate. Potassium chloride is used to reduce the sodium chloride, however it contains characteristic metallic off-notes. Sodium gluconate is used as a flavour with modifying properties (FMP) to mask the unwanted off-notes of potassium chloride.

Sodium gluconate has FEMA GRAS status for use as a flavour ingredient with modified properties for specified usage levels in certain food categories (FEMA No. 4934) and can be labeled as a natural flavour*. Recommendation for labelling on final products would be as follows: Salt, potassium chloride (or potassium salt), sodium gluconate (or natural flavour*).

Jungbunzlauer produces several types of sub4salt®. The standard sub4salt®, as described above, comes in various different granulations to meet your application and production needs. Jungbunzlauer also produces sub4salt® cure, a sodium reduced curing salt. Depending on the type of sub4salt® being used, a 35% - 50% sodium reduction is possible when substituted 1:1 with conventional salt.

sub4salt® is a superior salt blend that does not compromise on functionality or taste, while reducing sodium.  

In addition to the salt replacer sub4salt®, Jungbunzlauer provides further solutions for sodium reduction, e.g. potassium salts replacing sodium containing pH regulators in beverages or emulsifiers in processed cheese as well as Glucono-delta-Lactone as sodium-free leavening agent for bakery.

* It is the responsibility of the end customer to determine how to label their finished product