Potassium-bearing leavening ingredients can help bakers make a claim for this important heart-healthy nutrient. In this exclusive Baking & Snack Q&A, Nita Livvix, R&D manager, Clabber Girl Corp., Terre Haute, IN, offers the details of its action.

Baking & Snack: How have the chemical leavening agents you supply for bakery use changed during the past few years?

Nita Livvix: In addition to our full line of chemical leavening products, we also offer reduced-sodium and sodium-free baking powders that offer the same fully balanced double action as other baking powder in a one-for-one replacement usage.

When do low-sodium approaches make sense, and when is it better to opt for the tried-and-true conventional products?

Low-sodium and sodium-free leavening makes a lot of sense to the baker who is looking for ways to reduce sodium in order to make claims of “reduced sodium” for their baked products without compromising quality of texture, flavor or appearance.

How do your leavening ingredients add to potassium content, a “nutrient of interest” under new government guidelines?

Clabber Girl’s InnovaFree Sodium Free Baking Powder contains potassium bicarbonate, which provides 88 mg of potassium per serving. A 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Silver LD, Farley TA. Sodium and Potassium Intake)* suggested that higher recommended levels of potassium consumption may actually neutralize the heart-damaging effects of sodium. With a reduction of sodium, along with an increase of potassium in the diet, heart health can strongly benefit.

There is a great animated explanation of how this works at http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072495855/student_view0/chapter2/animation__how_the_sodium_potassium_pump_works.html

* Silver LD, Farley TA. Sodium and Potassium Intake — Mortality effects and policy implications: comment on “Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults”. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(13);1191-1192.doi;10.1001/archinternmed.2011.271

What do bakery formulators need to know about putting these ingredients to work today?

When using Clabber Girl’s InnovaFree Sodium Free baking powder, it’s as simple as substituting these ingredients on a 1:1 ratio for the original baking powder being used. The InnovaFree Sodium Free baking powder has the added advantage of providing 88 mg potassium per serving, which when combined with a reduction of sodium in the diet can contribute to an increase in heart health.