HOT topic: Sodium Reaction
- Masking the metallic off-flavors of potassium chloride with Magnasweet®
The US FDA reports that the typical American over the age of two consumes an average of 3400 mg of sodium per day, while the US federal guidelines recommends consuming no more than a maximum of 2300 mg of sodium per day. Excessive sodium consumption leads to higher blood pressure and hypertension, significantly elevating major risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Yet, sodium reduction has been a challenge for the food industry for decades. The approach of simply reducing sodium chloride in processed foods frequently meets with consumer dissatisfaction on the compromised flavor. One tool for sodium reduction is the partial replacement of sodium chloride with potassium chloride. However, this approach has limits, as flavor is impacted when potassium chloride replaces more than about 20% of the sodium chloride1. Off-flavors, often described as metallic or bitter, result when potassium chloride levels are elevated in foods.
The INDUSTRY PROBLEM: The use of potassium chloride is limited as a salt reduction strategy in processed foods because of resulting “metallic” or “bitter” flavors when used at increasingly higher levels.
Magnasweet® is an effective tool for formulating with reduced sodium foods because Magnasweet can mask the metallic or bitter off-flavors arising from increased use of potassium chloride. Magnasweet is derived from natural licorice root, is considered GRAS by the US FDA and FEMA, and can be labeled as “natural flavor” in the United States. Magnasweet is available in easy-to-use powdered and liquid forms, used at very low dosages, and is highly cost effective. The MAFCO Magnasweet experts developed the following trials with unsalted chicken broth to demonstrate how Magnasweet can effectively mask the off-flavors of potassium chloride when used at normally high levels in foods for sodium reduction.
Taste the Magnasweet Difference: a demonstration of masking potassium chloride.
We took commercial unsalted chicken broth. We added sodium chloride to achieve 400 mg per serving. A commonly held belief in the food industry is that you cannot exceed about 20% of potassium chloride in a sodium chloride/ potassium chloride blend for sodium reduction, without affecting the flavor. We pushed it to 50%, amplifying both the positive and negative benefits of KCl. This results in a much more salty flavor but with much more metallic, bitter off- flavors from the high amount of KCl.
1van Buren, Leo, Mariska Dötsch-Klerk, Gila Seewi and Rachel Newson. 2016. Dietary impact of adding potassium chloride to foods
as a sodium reduction technique. Nutrients 8(4): 235—247.