Cutting sodium in processed meat: US start-up cuts salt by 95 percent


08 Nov 2018 --- Keeping pace with demand for healthier, lower salt recipes for processed meat, one US start-up has developed a vegetable-based ingredient that can be used to create processed meat and proteins with a reduction in sodium of up to 95 percent. Botaniline’s one-ingredient substitution allows manufacturers to improve their existing recipes and eliminate all fillers, binders, allergens, and chemical additives, for cleaner label, healthier processed meat products.

The result is a reduction in sodium of up to 95 percent and a product that’s free of all allergens, gluten, MSG, lactose, TVP, and soy while maintaining its quality, flavor, taste, and texture. 

Botaniline’s patented technology also formulates allergen-free alternatives. This innovative food technology has been fully approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The start-up is a spin-off company of F. Wardynski’s & Sons, a Buffalo meat manufacturing business that was established in 1919. The Botaniline food technology substitutes all-natural, vegetable-based ingredients to create low sodium, allergen-free, and chemical-free products. Its meat protein breakthrough technology is in full commercial use throughout the US and the company is working with select strategic partners to bring its science into Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.

Creating allergen-free versions of popular foods 
Botaniline has also created an allergen-free “Pea-Nutless Butter” which it claims “tastes exactly like regular peanut butter,” but contains just 2mg of sodium and less fat, calories and sugar. 

“We have an opportunity to revolutionize the food industry by creating allergen-free versions of popular foods that consumers eat regularly,” says co-founder Skip Wardynski.

Botaniline has introduced its technologies to the US military, correctional facilities, schools, hospitals and major food manufacturers who are looking for ways to eliminate chemical additives, reduce the sodium content in food and ease their manufacturing processes. The company is testing its protein technology with 25 national and international manufacturers in hopes of improving the existing recipes.

“Botaniline’s mission to improve worldwide health directly aligns with the big picture goals and ambitions I have worked for throughout my career,” adds Botaniline CEO, Mark Celmer.

“The food that we eat directly impacts our health – increasing or decreasing the likelihood of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and so many other conditions and diseases. I firmly believe that if people are eating healthier foods, they will live healthier lives.”

Solutions for sodium reduction are particularly timely as the debate surrounding meat consumption in general, as well as processed meat, continues to be in the spotlight. 

The consumption of meat has increased globally during the last decades, and evidence is mounting that high consumption of red – and, in particular, processed meat – is related to chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A study published in the Journal of Hepatology earlier this year has added non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to the list. While meat contributes valuable nutrients that are beneficial to health, including protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12, the current study indicates that meat should be eaten in moderation and the type of meat and its preparation method should be wisely chosen.

Consumers are generally becoming much more aware of their meat consumption, with flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets increasing while the meat alternatives sector is continuing to grow. 

Consumers are also keeping a closer eye on the quality of the protein that they consume. Deciding factors for meat purchased are going beyond the simple freshness and fat content of meat, to take into considerations factors such as salt content, sustainability, processing, authenticity, transparency and healthfulness.

In July, taste and nutrition company Kerry published consumer research that highlighted existing concerns around meat. The study found that consumer knowledge of food and beverage properties has begun to evolve into ingredient curiosity, with an increased attention on the origin, sourcing and manufacturing of products. Ingredient selection for meat products has become a priority to consumers who often want to know more about what they consume. 

In terms of clean label, consumers are demanding a return to real food and transparency through authenticity. They seek foods that are natural and familiar, with simple ingredients that are easy to recognize, understand and pronounce. 

High salt in meat alternatives
But it is not just processed meat that is highlighted for its high salt levels. UK-based organization, Campaign group Action on Salt (AoS) is urging the government to step up legislation on salt reduction after finding “excessive amounts” in some processed meat alternatives. 

A recent UK product survey reveals several meat-free products are far higher in salt than the recommended guidelines. And, Public Health England, the government agency responsible for the UK’s salt reduction program, admits “there is still a long way to go” on decreasing the nation’s salt intake.

By Gaynor Selby

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