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Less salt in food products with good taste

Published: 14-05-2014

The food industry has an important role to play in reducing the salt content of food products. The average Dutch person consumes around ten grams per day, more than the recommended daily intake of six grams of table salt. Excessive salt intake can lead to increased blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart and vascular diseases. Research has shown, for example, that a reduction of daily salt consumption to eight grams would already reduce the number of heart attacks by 10%!

Expanding knowledge
Reduction of the quantity of salt without affecting the taste and shelf life is a complicated process, one in which many aspects must be examined. Within the project a salt replacement system will be developed which the involved parties can use in their products and that consumers will embrace for the good taste and quality.

Unique convergence of forces
One of the participating companies is NIZO food research, which develops and applies technologies to improve foods and food processes. The company has already developed various innovative solutions for the reduction of salt in bread, cheese and meat while maintaining a good taste. According to Business Development Manager Dave Jung, this convergence of commercial forces is unique. He expects new insights and innovative techniques in the area of food taste and texture to be forthcoming.

Societal problem
Partner Essensor BV measures consumer preferences for the way products taste. The company has conducted research into the use of salt in bread products. For Wim Vaessen, sensory and consumer science specialist, participation in this project is a logical next step. ‘With Go Without Salt we strengthen each other’s expertise while also learning how to work together better to find a solution to a societal problem.’ Ronald Visschers, programme manager at TNO explains ‘The participation of TNO is important in connection with the technology that makes it possible to quickly assess whether the shelf life of the products with less salt can still be guaranteed.’

ERDF subsidy
The consortium of companies consisting of Essensor (Ede), The Kraft Heinz Company (Nijmegen), Koninklijke Euroma (Wapenveld), NIZO food research (Ede), National Starch & Chemical GmbH (Hamburg) en TNO (Zeist) is receiving a subsidy of €755,723 for the Go Without Salt project from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), €755.722 from the Province of Gelderland and €500,000 from the Province of Utrecht. The consortium itself invests around €1.3 million.