Potassium Plays a Role in Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
Manufacturers of plant-based meat alternatives look to potassium salt to lower sodium levels in their products.
Are plant-based meat alternatives healthier for you? According to a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,1 they are. The study concludes, “Among generally healthy adults, contrasting plant with animal intake, while keeping all other dietary components similar, the plant products improved several cardiovascular disease risk factors, including TMAO; there were no adverse effects on risk factors from the plant products.”
Consumers are placing more importance on reducing sodium in their diets. Due to this, the health benefits of plant-based meat alternatives may cancel out to some. It's common in plant-based meat alternatives to see single-serving sodium levels up to almost five times higher than meat. It's clear to conscientious buyers that plant-based meat alternative manufacturers need to work to reduce sodium levels.
In a recent Food Business News article,2 Cargill’s lead Food Scientist, Dr. Janice Johnson, agrees that plant-based alternatives to beef, pork, and crumbles have higher salt levels than others, like tofu. The good news is advancements in potassium chloride allow for a significant reduction in sodium levels without sacrificing taste.
“Potassium salt (potassium chloride) does a really good job at trying to replace partial usage of the salt in the formula, and by doing that, you can actually help reduce the sodium content in the finished product,” Dr. Johnson said. Potassium chloride is excellent for reducing 20%-35% of a food’s sodium levels; however, taste can be compromised when trying to use it as an overall sodium substitute.
“That’s probably the biggest hurdle to overcome when you’re thinking about a full 100% replacement of salt with potassium chloride,” she said when it comes to flavor.
In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final guidance to advise food manufacturers of its intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the name “potassium salt” in the ingredient statement on food labels as an alternative to “potassium chloride” to better inform consumers that it is a salt substitute.
Cargill is diligently working towards improving potassium chloride by developing new products like Potassium Pro® Ultra Fine Potassium Chloride and is eager to help advance the plant-based meat alternative sector.
To learn more about potassium chloride and it’s uses in foods visit, https://www.cargill.com/salt-in-perspective/potassium-chloride-201-uses-in-food