Seaweed new industry salt shaker?


How would you feel about your sodium being replaced with a sprinkle of seaweed? A longtime staple of health-food diets, the underwater flora may now offer a way for the food industry to reduce its salty excesses.

Mounting evidence links excessive sodium consumption to serious health problems, and yet salt remains a mainstay ingredient for processed foods—both as a preservative, and because the salt burst is tasty and  addictive. As more of the population seeks lower sodium levels in processed food, while retaining a salty flavour, substitutes are appearing – in this case, from the sea.

Setalg, a seaweed processing company based in France, recently launched a product called AlgySalt. A natural, GMO-free ingredient developed from seaweed extracts, it contains up to eight times less sodium than salt and can be substituted up to 30%, helping food labelling meet the nutritional ‘25% less salt’ label definition. Setalg is ‘natural flavouring’.

In addition to an appealing flavour, Setalg claims that the high mineral content of AlgySalt’s natural compounds offers the preservative benefits of salt.

AlgySalt was just launched in late October, so it’s too early to say what response from the industry—or consumers—will be. But health-conscious diners, as well as the food industry, will no doubt be keeping an eye on this salty development.

It remains to be seen what dieticians and salt experts have to say about it.

Interested in  putting some non-salty  “salternatives” in your cooking? Read: 5 Great “Salternatives”

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