Leavening acids contribute as much as 35% of the sodium in baked foods. In a Formulations Update exclusive, John Brodie of Innophos, Cranbury, NJ, describes leavening materials that cut overall sodium content yet avoid elimination of salt and the flavor problems that could cause.

Baking & Snack: How do chemical leavening ingredients help the formulator reduce the sodium content of baked foods and snacks? How does their use change the finished product’s sodium content?

John Brodie: Leavening acids can contribute upwards of 35% of the sodium content of baked goods. By replacing SAPP 28 with Innophos Cal-Rise, you can achieve 20 to 35% sodium reduction. This allows formulators to keep the salt in their formulations and not affect the flavor profile while achieving their sodium reduction goals.

Are there sodium-bearing leavening ingredients that the formulator should consider retaining? What impact do they have on the finished product’s sodium numbers?

Each type of leavening acids has its own attributes. Leavenings contribute to cell structure, texture (softness, springiness) and batter stability. Levair (SALP) is well known for its effect on improved batter stability, giving a fine cell structure and springiness to products. Innophos Levair contains only 2.1% sodium (other brands are higher). The use of blends with Levair such as Dough-Rise (Levair and Cal-Rise) and Actif-8 (Levair and MCP) keep the unique qualities of Levair while still reducing sodium and adding calcium. The more sodium you can reduce with leavening acids, the less need there is to use expensive alternate ingredients to salt and sodium bicarbonate.

What should a formulator know about these materials and their usage levels? Are there limits to their use? How must they be labeled in the ingredient listing on packages?

It is important to keep your formula in balance when changing leavening acids. Each type of leavening has a neutralizing value (NV). This value allows you to determine how much leavening acid is needed to neutralize the amount of bicarbonate in your formula. Use levels are thus determined by the amount of bicarbonate.

When listing leavenings on the label, you must list it by the leavening’s common chemical name. This can be found on the product data sheet. If unsure, contact your Innophos technical service representative.

If changing leavening ingredients, what factors must the formulator consider to ensure success with the new leavener?

First, make sure you know the proper neutralizing value. Secondly, be aware of the leavening attributes such as rate of reaction. For retail type mixes, faster leavening and blends such as Actif-8 can be an excellent low-sodium leavening or Cal-Rise blended with MCP (for initial aeration of the batter) for a no-sodium leavening. Industrial and food service mixes need slower type leavenings such as Cal-Rise or Dough-Rise. When using potassium bicarbonate, be aware it is not a one-to-one substitute for sodium bicarbonate (you will need 19% more), and neutralizing values of the leavening acids are different. A good resource would be the manufacturers’ technical service representatives who can guide you through this process.

What chemical leavening ingredients does Innophos offer for bakery and snack applications?

Innophos offers a robust range of leavenings to meet your sodium reduction needs, from sodium-free to reduced-sodium leavenings.

Our nonsodium calcium leavenings include Cal-Rise which is a unique patented slow-acting leavening agent. Cal-Rise is a one-to-one replacement for SAPP 28.

V-90 and Regent 12xx (monocalcium phosphates) are fast acting and can be used with the slower Cal-Rise or DCP (dicalcium phosphate dehydrate) in many bakery products.

Our reduced sodium leavenings and blends such as Actif-8 (1.3% sodium) and Hi Cal Actif-8 (0.7% sodium) are excellent for retail type mixes while Dough-Rise (1.1% sodium), a blend of Cal-Rise and Levair, is an excellent choice for commercial applications. Levair (SALP) has only 2.1% sodium and can be widely used in many applications. The other benefit of calcium phosphates is the significant contribution to increasing the calcium content of your products.