Fortified muffins
Potassium bicarbonate may be used in leavening applications like muffins.

Potassium options

Bakers have several ways to add potassium to products, but, like vitamin D, sensory issues may prove troublesome when adding enough potassium to reach a claim.

Adequate potassium intake is beneficial in lowering blood pressure, and intakes of the nutrient are low among some population groups, according to the May 27, 2016, issue of the Federal Register. An NHANES report has shown that 98% of the U.S. population does not consume enough potassium, said Alice Wilkinson, vice-president of nutritional innovation for Watson, Inc.

“Potassium is difficult to formulate with as it has a flavor issue, and the dose is so large that even if it were flavor-neutral, it simply takes up more space than most formulas have,” she said.

Watson has developed a line of encapsulated potassium sources that help reduce flavor concerns.

“We work with potassium phosphates and chlorides in either hot melt lipid encapsulation (or) cellulose encapsulation,” Ms. Wilkinson said. “Some are designed as thin layer to keep use rates down, and our customers are having success with these products in a variety of food types, including bars and beverages.”

Potassium bicarbonates are other options as they may be used as direct replacements for sodium bicarbonates in leavening applications.

Church & Dwight, Inc., Ewing, N.J., offers Flow-K potassium bicarbonate, a food-grade potassium bicarbonate product composed of a proprietary flow aid system that assures excellent storage and handling properties, according to the company. It allows for reduced sodium levels while maintaining overall quality and flavor. The product commonly is used in the leavening system for cakes, muffins and cookies.

Potassium citrate has a mild, pleasant and salty taste with a potassium content of 36%, said Caitlin Jamison, market development manager — health and nutrition for Jungbunzlauer, Inc. and based in Newton Centre, Mass.

Ms. Catauro also mentioned vitamin D, calcium, iron and fiber as “shortfall nutrients” that could be incorporated into grain-based foods. “Shortfall nutrients” are those that have been
assessed against their Recommended Daily Allowance (R.D.A.) levels and found to be under-consumed by the population.

“The nutrients mentioned above could be incorporated into extruded snacks, granola bars as well as hot and cold cereals,” Ms. Catauro said. “They would also be good candidates for fortification of wheat flour. Many countries use wheat and other staple crop flours as vehicles for fortification because they have broad reach and therefore the potential to improve health of entire populations. Flour fortification has been employed recently with success in both the Middle East and Africa.”