Reduced Salt or Sugar No Longer Means Less Taste

The recent pandemic and related health concerns accelerated a growing trend among consumers seeking food and beverages with reduced sugar and salt content. The move is supported by the government’s efforts to limit these ingredients among manufacturers for public health purposes.
At the same time, consumers demand ingredient transparency and clean labels, that is, more natural, plant-based, and sustainable ingredients with fewer or no GMO, synthetic, or chemical components.
However, to many consumers, less or no sugar or salt equals a blander taste and less enjoyment.
While in time, reducers can train their taste buds to enjoy reduced salt and sugar products; most prefer food and beverages as deliciously sweet or salty as the originals. Hence, innovative manufacturers rely on less sugary and salty alternatives, including high-intensity sweeteners, salt replacements such as potassium chloride, and natural, plant-based flavor enhancement ingredients.
The Introduction of High-Intensity Sweetening Products
These sugar substitutes are often much sweeter than sugar but without the calories and save costs since not much is needed. This characteristic helps keep sucrose content low or absent and blood sugar more balanced.
The FDA has approved six high-intensity sweeteners for food and beverages within regulated amounts. These include aspartame, saccharin, advantame, neotame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). In addition, two – more natural options – have been submitted for approval, namely stevia and monk fruit.
High-intensity sweeteners are suitable for various products, including soft drinks, candy, puddings, jams, jellies, dairy products, baked goods, and more.
Sugar alcohols are another sweetener class that can be used instead of sugar, usually in gums, cookies, and candies. These naturally-sourced sweeteners include xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, maltitol, and erythritol. However, the sweetness of these substances is not high-intensity, instead ranging from 25% to 100% relative to sucrose, while lower in calories and healthier than sugar for teeth and blood sugar.
Potassium Chloride as a Salt Alternative
In reduced or low sodium products, potassium chloride – naturally occurring in foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, and bananas – is a common alternative to sodium chloride. While salt receives a saltiness index rating of 1.0, potassium chloride enjoys a relatively similar index of 0.6, making it the ideal salt substitute.
Beyond helping to limit salt intake, the substance can also help increase potassium intake, which is often well below the recommended daily allowance of 4,700 mg.
Potassium chloride can be used alone or in blends with other seasonings to help preserve flavor profiles.
Flavor Enhancements
Another way to reduce sugar and salt content while maintaining taste is using flavor enhancement ingredients.
Creating flavorful products need not rely on sucrose or salt for an appealing or exciting taste. Instead, by adding one or more natural ingredients, such as spices, including ginger, turmeric, pepper, and cayenne pepper; fresh or dried herbs, such as mint, cumin, coriander, and chillis; onions, garlic, or citrus zest, you can offer a delicious zing without the sodium.
Naturally-sourced and extracted flavor molecules offer a cost-effective, clean-label, high-performance solution to include these accents.
Sweet flavor ingredients can help enhance the sweetness of snacks and beverages while reducing sugar content by 30 to 50%. At the same time, savory and salty ingredient molecules can help maintain taste while reducing sodium content by 30 to 60%1.
These authentic yet layered and complex flavor ingredients are produced in several ways, including using the Maillard reaction. This technique yields process or reaction flavors reminiscent of savory and umami meats, vegetables, alliums, bakes, and roasts. In addition, the reaction produces desirable caramelized and chocolate profiles.
Reaction flavors are produced by heating sugar and protein to produce a chemical mixture with flavor value. Results can include meaty furans, roasted pyrazines and thiophenes, and sweet furanones.
In addition to respecting changing consumer preferences, reaction flavors engineers and manufacturers prefer using pure substances to create these taste ingredients, such as those provided by Advanced Biotech.
Choose Advanced Biotech for Pure and Natural Reaction Flavors
Advanced Biotech offers an extensive collection of natural, plant-based – often organic – EU-certified flavor and aroma molecules to accentuate your flavor profiles without salt or sugar. Please contact us for more information.