Kerry Group has announced a new development in its vision to create a world of sustainable nutrition: Tastesense Salt. Kerry’s Tastesense Salt solutions reportedly deliver on salt and rich savory taste, without adding sodium, by retaining essential flavor properties and replicating salty impact, body, and linger. 

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report on sodium levels, savory snacks are ranked within the top five food categories being targeted by WHO members for salt reduction. While the global WHO benchmark for snacks is 500 mg per 100 grams in potato-based chips, with pretzels higher in sodium at 720 mg per 100 grams, many countries exceed those targets. With such high sodium levels found in savory snacks globally, the challenge persists in achieving much greater sodium reductions, levels of 40% or more, without losing the salty flavor of the snack. Kerry’s deep understanding of salt interaction in snack seasoning formulations allows it to push the boundaries in sodium reduction, achieving results of more than 60% in some applications.

Available both as a singular solution for salted crisps and as part of more complex snack seasoning formulations, Tastesense Salt is supported by strong fundamental science that links taste receptors with proprietary product chemistry, salt morphology, proteolysis, and fermentation. Kerry’s proprietary in-house capabilities allow it to design multidimensional, novel taste ingredients from natural botanical extracts, peptides, and ferments (yeast and non-yeast based), as well as various by-products from valorization streams. Working in synergy and cross-leveraging knowledge, Kerry’s flavor creation team and application experts can solve challenging sodium reduction formulations, resulting in more sustainable nutritious products that do not compromise on taste. 

Commonly used to enhance flavors in savory snacks, sodium plays a critical role in shaping the overall flavor of a snack seasoning. If simply removed or reduced, its absence can leave the sensory profile out of balance, impacting the temporal sensation of when taste and flavor are perceived, as well as the perception of seasoning homogeneity. Rebalancing taste while achieving an equal or better consumer liking becomes extremely challenging depending on the percentage reduction and starting point. While small percentage reductions of up to 10% can be achieved by stealth reformulation, the starting point is relevant, going from 700 mg to 630 mg of salt may be easier to achieve than going from 500 mg to 450 mg, furthermore the flavor tonality of the snack itself will also be a critical factor. To demonstrate key challenges in sodium reduction for savory snacks, Kerry’s Sodium Reduction Simulator was created to assess overall, upfront, middle, and lingering taste challenges depending on flavor profile and desired sodium content. With sustainable nutrition as a driving force, Kerry’s approach is powered by transparency and collaboration to remedy implications of lowering salt levels in snacks.

Kerry’s vision is to create a world of sustainable nutrition, and providing a solution to salt reduction is paramount in this pursuit. As one of the only global suppliers offering a holistic approach to sodium reduction challenges, Kerry skillfully navigates industry-leading solutions, allowing it to address sodium challenges of any size. 

“Salt reduction isn’t just an immediate brand imperative, it’s a humanity imperative and essential to creating a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Hugo Leclerq, global portfolio director for Taste Fermentation – Sodium Reduction. “We are lowering sodium far beyond what anyone thought possible with our innovative Tastesense Salt solutions while maintaining delicious flavor. With these market-leading solutions, we hope to empower customers with the knowledge and capabilities to meet consumer demands for reduced sodium across the snacking category.”

Tastesense Salt is firmly grounded in the robust scientific foundation that defines all ingredients within Kerry’s Taste Modulation Portfolio. In addition to Tastesense Salt, Kerry’s science-backed taste modulation ingredients within its Tastesense portfolio include Tastesense Sweet, Tastesense Mouthfeel, Tastesense Masking, and Tastesense Sensations.

Snack manufacturers interested in partnering with Kerry to explore innovative sodium reduced snack solitons can learn more here.