There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing sodium. That’s why Linda Kragt, technical services manager for Morton Salt, Chicago, IL, finds formulators taking a toolbox approach by combining different methods to cut sodium, yet maintain taste. In this exclusive Q&A, she discusses use of food-grade potassium chloride as one of those tools, as well as different grades of sodium chloride.

Baking & Snack: What is the best approach you recommend to bakers do to cut the sodium content of the foods they offer consumers? Why?

Linda Kragt: Morton Salt has been researching sodium reduction for over 40 years. In this time, we have learned that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for reducing sodium in baked goods. The options will be dependent upon the target reduction desired, cost parameters, leavening system and the use of topical salt. We sometimes find that customers will use a toolbox approach for sodium reduction. This means that they combine different methods to optimize sodium reduction while still maintaining taste.

One option is to use potassium chloride to substitute for up to 25% of the sodium chloride in yeast-leavened baked goods. Potassium chloride has similar physical properties as sodium chloride and can help to maintain its functional effects.

For cracker toppings, bakers may want to consider different salt grades that may improve adherence and provide a more up-front “hit” of saltiness taste.

What changes in bakery formulation will this change require? What advice do you give your customers who are considering such alterations?

When using potassium chloride in yeast leavened baked goods, the proof time may have to be reduced slightly. This is because potassium chloride is less inhibiting to the yeast than regular salt.

Can you point to successful sodium reduction projects?

Although we can’t go into specifics, we have given customers suggestions for topical applications of salt. Since we have a complete portfolio of cracker toppings, we can provide customers with multiple options for reducing sodium by changing the salt topping. In addition, companies may have to consider new dispensing equipment to provide more control of the salt level that is applied.

What products does your company offer to help bakers reduce the amount of sodium in their bread and rolls?

We offer KaliSel food grade potassium chloride. It is available in a standard granulated particle size as well as a new fine particle size. Both have an anti-caking agent that provides a free-flowing product. In addition, we have a complete line of topping salts for crackers. These include: Top Flake compacted topping salts, Star Flake Dendritic Salt and Purex Fine Prepared salt.