Creating a ‘low salt’ salt to cut the amount of salt added to manufactured foods.
SODA-LO® is an innovative clean label salt product that enables salt content to be reduced in food without loss of flavour or structure. Added salt levels can be reduced by up to 30% in foods like bread, pizza bases, pastry, savoury pie fillings, cheese and baked snacks. Ultimately, the development and application of SODA-LO® could have many positive benefits to the health of people around the world.
It was developed by Eminate Limited - a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Nottingham set up under a joint initiative with the Technology Strategy Board.
The government set targets to reduce the public’s salt consumption in 2010, and subsequently in 2012, to cut the rates of cardiovascular disease and strokes, which kill thousands of people every year in the UK. Salt consumption is a major factor in these conditions.
Researchers at Nottingham-based Eminate Ltd came up with a revolutionary way of adapting salt by changing the structure of the crystals. This created a more intense, saltier taste from smaller quantities.
However, after developing the product, the team needed to conduct extensive trials to check that the modified crystals would be suitable in food manufacturing. They needed to ensure that manufacturing processes, shelf-life, texture and flavour were not adversely affected by the new ingredient.
Food and Drink iNet support
In 2009, the iNet provided Eminate with a grant, which the firm match funded, to access the facilities and technical expertise of Nottingham Trent University, where the results provided explanations of the function of SODA-LO® in baked bread. This now forms the basis of a technical explanation of its ability to reduce salt content in bread, and was the key to opening doors to talks with major bread manufacturers in the UK.
In 2010, Eminate received the CenFRA award for 'Most Innovative Research Project' at the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards.
Since then, the product has been trialled and used in other manufactured items with success. Just over two years later, in October 2011, Tate & Lyle signed an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Eminate Ltd to assume responsibility for commercialising SODA-LO®on a global basis including manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing.
Several well-known food manufacturers, primarily in the UK and USA, are already using SODA-LO®. Tate & Lyle plan to commence a global rollout of the product in 2012.
Tate & Lyle’s SODA-LO™ Salt Microspheres won the “Most Innovative Health Ingredient of the Year” at the NuW Excellence Awards 2012 which were held at Health Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt.
David Park, Managing Director at Eminate Ltd, said:
“As we celebrate the recent signing of a major, global licensing deal for our SODA-LO® product, it is important to think back and remember the early support Eminate Ltd received from the iNet to access university-based expertise to place our novel product on a sound scientific footing. That work formed the basis for many of our subsequent product development and IP protection activities which directly led to the recent commercial success.”