Sodium reduction: Flaking it
by Rebeca López-García
One approach is to increase salty flavor perception by increasing the contact surface of the crystals. This is particularly interesting in snack applications that require sodium reduction. For example, Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, offers a flake salt consisting of tiny, multi-faceted crystals with a large collective surface area and low bulk density. Bakers can use it topically on potato or corn chips, crackers and bread sticks, salted nuts and seeds — and is the company claims it gives better adherence, blendability and solubility compared with salt that comes in cube-shaped granules.
Recently, at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting, Cargill also introduced FlakeSelect, another line of flaked products made with compacting technology that combines salt and other ingredients such as potassium chloride and/or sea salt. This process applies pressure to the ingredients to create a clustered thin flake that can also be used for topical applications including salty snacks and bakery products, thus adding flavor while controlling the amount of sodium in the mixture.