New Study Shows How We Can Achieve Maximum Sodium Reduction in Prepared Pizzas by Using Potassium Chloride
Pizza is one of the world’s most well-loved foods, but it can be one of the saltiest.
Pizza is one of the world’s most well-loved foods, but it can be one of the saltiest. The truth is that pizza is one of the top three leading contributors of sodium in the American diet. On a given day, 1 in 8 Americans will consume pizza, and generally, that pizza alone can help to contribute one-third of that person’s daily sodium intake, according to NHANES 2007-2010 data.1 For children, it is estimated that pizza contributes up to 33% of daily sodium intake on the day it is eaten.2
For this reason, Cargill Salt decided to tackle sodium reduction in prepared pizzas head-on.
Pizza is a great example of a food in which salt can have several functionalities. In pizza, how salt functions differs depending on which component of the pizza is being considered. In the crust, salt aids in gluten development and helps keep the dough pliable. In the cheese, salt helps build the desired texture while also extending shelf-life through management of microbial growth. In the meat toppings – like sausage or pepperoni – salt aids in protein extraction during their preparation. On top of all the specific functionalities, salt also gives pizza the proper flavor a consumer might expect. It’s clear that salt is an important ingredient in the processed foods category, and the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sodium reduction initiatives highlight the need to find suitable alternatives to salt to help consumers reduce dietary sodium and help reduce associated health risks.3
To start, our food scientists took a look at reducing sodium levels in pizza crust. By using our Potassium Pro™ Salt/Potassium Chloride Granulated Blend 50/50 and our Potassium Pro™ Ultra Fine Potassium Chloride, we uncovered that food manufacturers could achieve a 35% and 40% sodium reduction, respectively, in the crust alone. These sodium reduction levels did not deliver any significant differences in taste or texture compared to pizza crust formulated with regular table salt, according to consumer sensory panelists.
Further testing with pizza sauce also indicated that food manufacturers could achieve up to 33% sodium reduction without significantly impacting the taste or functionality of the sauce.
After a full evaluation, this Cargill study determined that a standard cheese pizza with reduced sodium pizza sauce and reduced sodium crust could deliver up to 28% and 25% overall sodium reduction when reformulating with Potassium Pro™ Salt/Potassium Chloride Granulated Blend 50/50 and our Potassium Pro™ Ultra Fine Potassium Chloride, respectively.
Better yet, reformulating with these potassium chloride products can help food manufacturers with long-term sodium reduction goals for frozen pizza, as outlined in the FDA’s Draft Voluntary Sodium Reduction guidelines.4
To learn more about our potassium chloride product offerings, visit https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/potassium-chloride-products.
- U.S Food and Drug Administration. “Sodium Reduction.” 8 Feb 2018. Accessed on 17 Aug 2018. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/ucm253316.htm