MicroSalt®️: The Breakthrough in Low-Sodium Food Science

The chemical element of sodium illuminated in a periodic table.

Gain a better understanding of low-sodium food technology, the benefits and drawbacks of conventional salt substitutes, and the facts about a superior alternative.

Key takeaways:

  • The science behind low-sodium foods has traditionally struggled to reconcile flavor with health
  • Several sodium substitutes have been linked to detrimental effects
  • Breakthrough sodium technology offers new ways to balance flavor and health

When confronted by consumers and regulators demanding lower-sodium products, food manufacturers have traditionally had two options: continuing to use excess salt in their products, reformulating their products to incorporate conventional salt substitutes, or removing sodium from their products altogether.

None of these methods have been successful in any responsible definition of the term. Excessive sodium, of course, causes a host of health problems. Most conventional salt substitutes leave a bitter aftertaste, and many have proven to do more harm than good, health-wise. And taking sodium out of recipes alienates salt-loving consumers, contributing to the prevailing public opinion that low-sodium foods are bland, flavorless, and oddly textured. 

In this blog, we’ll examine the science behind low-sodium foods, where it’s failed in the past, and a breakthrough new food technology that may be the solution for low-sodium, great-tasting products.

The science of sodium

Chemically, common salt is known as sodium chloride—around 60 percent chloride and 40 percent sodium, specifically. Biologically, sodium is essential for human health. It’s also a highly useful food ingredient that was used to flavor, bind, and preserve food long before chemistry “discovered” it in 1807.

In truth, humans can’t live without sodium. Vital physical processes like water and mineral balance, muscle contraction, and nerve impulses would be impossible without it. Basically, the average human body requires only 500 mg of sodium a day to perform these functions.

The recommended daily sodium intake can vary between individuals based on medical conditions, age, ethnicity, and gender. Always speak to your healthcare provider about what the “right” amount of daily sodium is for you. That said, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day, and definitely no more than 2,300 mg. Unfortunately, the average American consumes about 3,400 mg of the stuff every day.

The effects of this high sodium intake can range from relatively mild and temporary to long-term and potentially dangerous for our bodies and for our minds. For some people, headaches and vision disturbances can occur. For others, high sodium can worsen – and sometimes contribute to – conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, diabetes, depression, and cancer. The cardiovascular system can suffer badly, with strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks often linked to hypertension.

The solution is simple – eat less salt. Unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Conventional sodium-reduction techniques

Flavor enhancement and sodium reduction haven’t traditionally been very compatible. Certain less-than-ideal salt substitutes have been among the food manufacturing industry’s go-to solutions for decades. Compounds like calcium chloride, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and potassium chloride not only cause bitter, metallic aftertastes, but they can also exacerbate kidney problems, hypertension, and heart issues. In fact, MSG has been linked to a number of adverse reactions known as MSG symptom complex.

Given the drawbacks of these conventional salt substitutes, some food manufacturers and consumers have opted to replace common salt with either sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, neither of which is a particularly good low-sodium solution. Sea salt doesn’t significantly differ in sodium content from common table salt, while pink salt not only contains an abundance of sodium, but may also contain toxic metals such as aluminum and lead.

The only failsafe option (from a health perspective) is removing salt from recipes entirely. But healthy foods are no good if people won’t eat them, and that’s largely been the case with most bland, sodium-free options.

Challenges in low-sodium food technology

This has been the quandary facing food manufacturers for many years: how to produce low-sodium products without compromising flavor.

Many solutions have been suggested for this problem. Food manufacturers could try adding less salt spread more widely throughout their products in an attempt to create an overall salty flavor. Alternatively, they could use the salt substitutes we mentioned earlier, which puts them in multiple bad positions where they create bitter-tasting products and mask this flavor with even more additives.

The texture and appearance of some foods can suffer noticeably when salt is reduced or removed, becoming softer or tougher depending on the role salt plays in their cohesion. And of course, a naturally salty taste is hard to achieve without using real salt.

Yes, there are various herbs and spices that can be used to give foods plenty of flavor without the health risks of sodium, but none of them has ever proved as popular as salt. There’s a reason why paprika and pepper shakers aren’t found on every table.

Food safety is another reason why salt use is so ubiquitous. Without it, some foods simply wouldn’t hold together. Worse, certain microorganisms and bacteria would thrive out of control, leading to very short shelf lives for some foods – and even more health risks for anyone consuming them. Then there are the cost considerations of implementing new low-sodium technologies, some of which require all new processes, or even production equipment. 

So what’s a manufacturer to do when consumers demand lower-sodium products that still feature that salty flavor they love? There has never been a really good answer to this question – until now.

MicroSalt®️: the leader in low-sodium science

MicroSalt®️ is a name that’s gaining more and more recognition in the world of low-sodium foods. Our patented microparticle has already won multiple awards (from Proctor & Gamble and Global Health & Pharma Magazine) for its contribution to a healthier world. Why? Because MicroSalt® can lower the sodium content of processed foods without any loss of flavor. 

It also doesn’t require massive shifts in existing production processes, and when this all-natural salt is added to food it delivers an instant salty hit that’s twice as flavorful as traditional sodium crystals. 

The low-sodium solution of the future

The science behind low-sodium food technology has leaped forward in recent years thanks to game-changing innovations like MicroSalt®️. We’re empowering manufacturers and consumers alike to make healthier choices without sacrificing convenience and flavor. It’s a win-win for the food industry and public health.

Connect via our message page or call us at 1-877-825-0655 to learn more about this breakthrough new low-sodium solution!

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