Three types of deli meat on wood cutting board

August 30,2019

Sodium Reduction – The Impact on Food Quality and Health

From regional cuisine in the U.S. to ethnic cuisines from around the world, one common ingredient can be found throughout all dishes – SALT.  

Salt plays an important role in cooking. First, it is used as a seasoning to enhance the taste of food to elevate the eating experience. It can mask unwanted tastes and boost desirable flavors. It also has many other important functional purposes and abilities, including acting as a preservative, binding agent or texture aid and can help maintain color and control fermentation.1 With a wide variety of uses, it’s no wonder salt is such a popular ingredient. However, salt is also recognized by many consumers as an ingredient that can negatively impact one’s health.

Salt – Helpful or Harmful?  

Salt – or sodium – is an essential mineral that naturally helps maintain the human body’s water balance. However, when too much sodium is consumed, an excess amount exists in the bloodstream. It then starts to pull extra water into the blood vessels – increasing the total volume inside. With more blood (and water) now flowing through, blood pressure increases.2 While small amounts of sodium are necessary for the human body to function, health experts warn that a diet high in sodium can lead to increased blood pressure, resulting in other negative health effects such as stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease.3 

Busy lifestyles, eating on the go and the desire for quick, convenient meals has led to increased consumption of processed foods and eating out.  These two sources – processed foods and restaurants, make up 77% of the sodium Americans consume.5 In fact, almost half of the sodium consumed comes from only 10 different food items.6 

Nearly half of the sodium consumed comes from these 10 foods

Despite high consumption rates, consumers are aware of sodium's negative health consequences - 58% of consumers have indicated they are looking for ways to reduce the amount of sodium in their diets.7 To help consumers meet this goal, processed food manufacturers are now attempting to reformulate in order to reduce sodium. This reformulation can have significant impact on the brand, because of the large functional role salt plays on its quality characteristics. Besides providing flavor, sodium protects our food by inhibiting bacteria and mold growth and helps to maintain texture, structure, and other quality attributes consumers desire. Limiting and/or removing sodium may help to diminish health concerns, however, flavor and texture may suffer and could negatively impact product quality and ultimately, consumer brand loyalty.  

With low and no-sodium options, Kemin’s ingredient solutions for meat and poultry products can fulfill manufacturers sodium reduction goals while also maintaining functionality. BactoCEASE® – a propionic acid-based antimicrobial solution – has been shown to extend product shelf life more consistently than traditionally used lactate-based products and it can be used at lower usage rates – limiting the amount of sodium required to maintain performance without affecting sensory qualities8. BactoCEASE® NV – a vinegar-based food safety solution – has also been shown to protect meat and poultry products from foodborne pathogens and limit the growth of spoilage bacteria without affecting functional qualities such as water holding capacity, protein denaturation, color and flavor9. By utilizing Kemin’s ingredient solutions, manufacturers can achieve sodium label claims while also maintaining product quality and preserving brand loyalty.

For more information on Kemin ingredient solutions: 



1Salt Association. (2019). The Role of Salt in Cooking. Retrieved from:

2American Heart Association (2017). Why Should I Limit Sodium? Retrieved from:

3,4,6Calvo, T. & Calderone, J. (2017). 10 Foods That Make Your Daily Sodium Intake Soar. Consumer Reports. Retrieved from:

5,7American Heart Association. (2014). 75% of Americans Want Less Sodium in Processed and Restaurant Foods Infographic. Retrieved from:

8Kemin Internal Document TL-17-00030

9Kemin Internal Document TL-17-00126