Salt Reduction Targets: Is Your Sodium Reduction Worth Its Salt?

Salt Reduction

Are you looking to reduce the quantity of salt (or sugar, fat or saturates etc) in your recipe – possibly in response to the new HFSS restrictions?


Due to ongoing changes in food legislation and initiatives to promote healthier lifestyles, manufacturers are under constant pressure to reduce the levels of those nutrients which are regarded as harmful. 

The challenge of course is how to reduce these nutrients while maintaining the product’s taste, cost and food safety – especially if it’s a well-established product with a winning recipe formula.


It can be quite tricky sometimes to identify where all the salt is coming from.  For nutrition labelling, salt is actually calculated from the sodium level – you don’t have to have added any actual salt to have a significant amount of salt appearing on your label. 

Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sodium citrate etc can all contribute.  And many more natural ingredients, such as tomato puree, can also contribute.

NutriCalc can show you how much each ingredient contributes to your overall value of salt, sodium (or any other nutrient).  This includes any ingredient ‘hiding’ in a sub-recipe, maybe a few levels deep (in other words an ingredient in a sub-recipe that’s in a sub-recipe that’s in a sub-recipe etc).

Once you see the list of contributions, you can alter some of the quantities of those ingredients in the recipe.  Or you can replace an ingredient with an alternative (there’s the option to duplicate a recipe, so it’s really quick and easy to experiment with ‘tweaking’ the formulation whilst still retaining the original).  An instant recalculation in NutriCalc is then available so that you can verify the reduction in the salt content for your recipe.

In order to do this, when you look at your recipe, you’ll need to have the Nutrition report open, then go to the nutrient you’re interested in and click the ‘>’ symbol.  All the ingredient contributions then appear.  Often there’s one clear ‘villain’, but you can have a situation where  there’s an accumulation from many ingredients.

The same method can of course be applied if you want to increase the level of a nutrient, such as protein or fibre.  With the appearance of so many high protein products, this feature is very helpful in designing these new recipes.

David F. Bartley PhD

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