New Low Sodium Solution for Bakery and Breakfast Cereals

Salt of the Earth Ltd. introduces a novel, low-sodium sea salt ingredient to address food manufacturers’ challenges to reduce sodium in bakery products, such as bread, breakfast cereals and snacks.

The new low-sodium ingredient was developed recently at Salt of the Earth’s R&D center and was tested successfully in various bread and breakfast cereals. It is available in formats to allow a range of 28% to 66% sodium reduction in formulation.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor. In a percentage of persons with pre-hypertension or hypertension, dietary sodium could increase blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, creating an added burden on the heart. Obesity, a major epidemic, also can put some individuals at risk for sodium-sensitive hypertension through increased kidney disease and the associated impairment of the body’s ability to balance sodium and blood pressure.

“The main challenge in sodium reduction is the aftertaste of salt substitutes,” explains Aliza Ravizki, R&D manager of Salt of the Earth. “We conducted numerous trials of different mineral sources to solve this problem and finally came up with a tasty, propriety blend of sea salt sourced from the clear waters of the Red Sea, and potassium chloride derived from the Dead Sea. Sea salt contains most of the trace minerals needed for the body. Salt of the Earth’s low-sodium sea salt ingredient enables food manufacturers to reduce the sodium in a formulation, without any negative effect on taste.”

“We work closely with our customers to offer tailor-made, low sodium-formulation solutions,” adds Avi Freund, Export Director of Salt of the Earth. The new, natural low-sodium salt ingredient can be added to the food production process easily, has a long shelf-life and is highly heat-stable. It also contains a minimum of food additives.

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Joint answer on trans fatty acids

In this answer to four written questions by MEPs (click the highlighted numbers to open them), Mr. Borg analyses the state of the art in EU about trans fatty acids.

In US the issue is at the top of the FDA agenda.

FDA has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major dietary source of trans fat in the processed food supply, are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS. If FDA makes a final determination that partially hydrogenated oils are not GRAS, a company could not use PHOs in food without approval from the FDA, although it may take some time for the change to be fully implemented.

FDA made this preliminary determination because trans fats have significant adverse health effects. Scientific evidence has shown that consumption of trans fat raises low density lipoprotein (LDL-C or “bad) cholesterol, which increases the risk of developing heart disease. Trans fat may also have other adverse health effects, including lowering high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Considering only the effects of trans fat from partially hydrogenated oils on levels of LDL-C, “bad” cholesterol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that eliminating intake of trans fat from partially hydrogenated oils could prevent up to 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) and up to 7,000 deaths annually.

The trans fat found in foods can either be natural or artificial. Naturally occuring trans fat is produced in the gut of some grazing animals, and that is why small quantities can be found in animal-based foods such as milk, milk products, and certain meats. FDA’s action would not affect these foods.

Artificial trans fat is formed during food processing through hydrogenation of vegetable oils.

Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission (20 December 2013) – Written questions: E-012709/13, E-012853/13, E-012895/13, E-012777/13

Based on requests of the Commission, the European Food Safety Authority adopted two Scientific Opinions, one on the presence of trans fatty acids in foods and their effect on human health and one on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including trans fatty acids.

The Commission is aware that the consumption of trans fatty acids is, along with saturated fat and overall fat intake, known to be a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Article 30(7) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/20011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers requires the Commission to submit by 13 December 2014 ‘a report on the presence of trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the Union population. The aim of the report shall be to assess the impact of appropriate means that could enable consumers to make healthier food and overall dietary choices or that could promote the provision of healthier food options to consumers, including, among others, the provision of information on trans fats to consumers or restrictions on their use.’ The Commission is also asked to accompany this report with a legislative proposal, if appropriate. This report will address the issue of consumers’ perception of trans fatty acids.

Currently, Denmark, Austria and Hungary have notified national measures limiting the presence of trans fatty acids of non-ruminant origin in foods.

Further, it should be noted that the Commission is encouraging self-regulatory action in order to further decrease the content of trans fatty acids in food products. There are commitments in the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health that concern the reformulation of products to reduce the content of trans fatty acids.