The Role of Food Processing Salt in Food Safety
While salt is an effective flavor enhancer, it's also a very important natural preservative in food manufacturing.
Many consumers want to know, what’s the role of salt in food? As a matter of fact, the main functional properties of salt in food processing and food production go well beyond taste.
While salt is an effective flavor enhancer, it’s also a very important natural preservative in cooking, baking, pickling and food manufacturing.1 For centuries, salt has been used to preserve foods—even before the invention of refrigeration. Salt acts as a preservative by altering the activity of water in foods, thereby depriving microbes from using available water as a nutrient. That means the growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms is impeded when salt is present. For example, salt helps to prolong freshness by preserving meats, like beef jerky, because it helps keep the meat dry and reduces potential microbial growth.2
As food manufacturers are looking to reduce sodium in the food products they manufacture, it’s important to consider the food safety implications that may occur when water activity in foods is altered with reduced sodium levels.
To learn more about sodium reduction, visit https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/sodium_reduction.