Kerry launches Tastesense salt for sodium reduction

The World Health Organization has identified savoury snacks as one of the main candidates for sodium reduction

Kerry has announced the launch of Tastesense salt, which deliver on salt and savory taste without adding sodium by retaining essential flavour properties and replicating salty impact, body, and linger.

According to a World Health Organization report on sodium levels, savory snacks are ranked within the top five food categories being targeted by World Health Organization members for salt reduction. While the global WHO benchmark for snacks is 500mg per 100g in potato-based chips, with pretzels higher in sodium at 720 mg per 100g, many markets exceed those levels. With high sodium levels found in savoury snacks globally, the challenge persists in achieving much greater sodium reductions, levels of 40% or more, without losing the salty flavour of the snack. Kerry’s understanding of salt interaction in snack seasoning formulations has thus allowed it attain results of more than 60% reduction in some applications.

Available both as a singular solution for salted crisps and as part of more complex snack seasoning formulations, Tastesense salt is supported by science that links taste receptors with product chemistry, salt morphology, proteolysis and fermentation. With Kerry’s in-house capabilities, it has developde taste ingredients from natural botanical extracts, peptides, and fements (yeast and non-yeast based), as well as various by-products from valourisation streams. Working in synergy and cross-leveraging knowledge, Kerry’s flavour creation team and application experts can solve challenging sodium reduction formulations, resulting in more sustainable nutritious products that do not compromise on taste.

Commonly used to enhance flavours in savory snacks, sodium plays a critical role in shaping the overall flavour of a snack seasoning. If simply removed or reduced, its absence can leave the sensory profile out of balance, impacting the temporal sensation of when taste and flavour are perceived, as well as the perception of seasoning homogeneity. Rebalancing taste while achieving an equal or better consumer liking becomes extremely challenging depending on the percentage reduction and starting point. While small percentage reductions of up to 10% can be achieved by stealth reformulation, the starting point is relevant, going from 700mg to 630mg of salt may be easier to achieve than going from 500mg to 450mg; the flavour tonality of the snack itself is also a critical factor.

To demonstrate key challenges in sodium reduction for savoury snacks, Kerry’s sodium reduction simulator was created to assess overall, upfront, middle, and lingering taste challenges depending on flavour profile and desired sodium content. With sustainable nutrition as a driving force, Kerry’s approach is powered by transparency and collaboration to remedy implications of lowering salt levels in snacks.

“Salt reduction isn’t just an immediate brand imperative, it’s a humanity imperative and essential to creating a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Hugo Leclerq, global portfolio director for taste fermentation – sodium reduction. “We are lowering sodium far beyond what anyone thought possible with our innovative Tastesense salt solutions while maintaining delicious flavour. With these market-leading solutions, we hope to empower customers with the knowledge and capabilities to meet consumer demands for reduced sodium across the snacking category.”

Tastesense salt is part of Kerry’s taste modulation portfolio.