Sargento Food Ingredients, a supplier of custom-made cheese products for food manufacturers, said it has reduced the sodium in its American, Cheddars, Monterey Jack and Swiss cheese products in addition to cheese blends.
"Sodium reduction can be achieved at varying levels, depending upon application needs,” said the company.
US health concerns
Growing health concerns are key drivers for sodium reduction in both Sargento’s processed and natural cheese products, said the company.
The recently revised 2011 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) include recommendation of maximum daily sodium intake of 1,500mg of sodium for groups that make up about half of the general population and most adults. This specifically applies to those aged 51 and older, African Americans, and those who have hypertension, type-2 diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
The recommendation for other groups remains at 2,300mg.
Reduced sodium in natural cheese
Previously Sargento re-launched some of its natural cheese products with up to a 25 per cent reduction in sodium content.
The company said it achieved this without using salt replacers or flavour masking.
Along every step of the way, regular consumer feedback was used in order to make sure the appropriate taste was achieved, Jane Gapinski, marketing director for Sargento Food Ingredients told DairyReporter.com.
Taking between 18 months to two years, it was a lengthy development that involved going back to the lab many times, she added.
John Brody of Sargento R&D said taste was the most important factor to maintain when reducing sodium in cheese.
“Salt imparts flavour, enhances flavour and also has an impact on culture development and protein breakdown, which impacts cheese texture and quality over time,” he said.