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Ajinomoto: “Raising the bar in salt reduction”

Published: 23-05-2017, | Member: Ajinomoto Group

Japanese food manufacturer Ajinomoto is making salt reduction a priority in their innovation-strategy roadmap. “We want to set new standards; optimizing our own portfolio and supporting other companies to improve theirs.”


Eat well, live well is the motto of Ajinomoto, established in 1909 and headquartered in Tokyo. The company boasts an impressive portfolio of products containing monosodium glutamate (MSG) – the source of flavor-enhancing umami. “In addition to seasoning we supply various types and shapes of noodles, various beverages and ready-to-eat meals, to markets across the globe,” says Shimpei Mochizuki, Marketing Manager at Ajinomoto Foods Europe. “ We also provide amino acids, the building blocks of MSG, and enzymes to manufacturers of animal feed, sports supplements, baby food and baby and adult medicines.”

Salt reduction is, as was sugar reduction quite recently, is receiving Ajinomoto’s full attention. “Over the past few years we have cut down the salt content of our products, such as noodles, by an average of 20-30 percent but, when we listen to doctors, nutritionists and consumers, it is clear we need to redouble our efforts”, says Usugi Kodai, Research & Development Manager Food at Ajinomoto Foods Europe. “We want to raise the bar in salt reduction.”

Different approaches

At their facility in Picardy (France) expert teams are using different approaches to salt reduction comparing to what is usual with MSG. “We use yeast extract in our soups, as it enhances taste, and we are developing enzymes that help improve the texture of meat”, illustrates Amélie Delpouve, Applications Manager. “Lack of texture is often a common, and unwanted, side-effect of salt reduction in meat.”

There is also a novel, (but secret) integrated technology underway, based on a combination of flavor and texture solutions. “We will disclose more information when the intellectual property rights are registered and legally belong to our company”, Kodai stresses.

Total-solutions provider

Ajinomoto will apply the insights gained to further improve its own portfolio and to support other manufacturers in optimizing theirs. “Our aim is to become the total-solutions provider for flavor and texture enhancement in the global food industry.”

The three company representatives are in agreement that major improvements will be possible within a few years: “We have absolutely no doubts that salt reductions of 50% will become common in the very near future, given the different solutions currently available and the new technologies on the horizon.”



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