Implications of Salt and Sodium Reduction on Microbial Food Safety

John Morrell Food Group, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition (Impact Factor: 5.18). 03/2010; 50(3):209-27. DOI: 10.1080/10408391003626207
Source: PubMed


Excess sodium consumption has been cited as a primary cause of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Salt (sodium chloride) is considered the main source of sodium in the human diet, and it is estimated that processed foods and restaurant foods contribute 80% of the daily intake of sodium in most of the Western world. However, ample research demonstrates the efficacy of sodium chloride against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in a variety of food systems. Notable examples of the utility and necessity of sodium chloride include the inhibition of growth and toxin production by Clostridium botulinum in processed meats and cheeses. Other sodium salts contributing to the overall sodium consumption are also very important in the prevention of spoilage and/or growth of microorganisms in foods. For example, sodium lactate and sodium diacetate are widely used in conjunction with sodium chloride to prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and lactic acid bacteria in ready-to-eat meats. These and other examples underscore the necessity of sodium salts, particularly sodium chloride, for the production of safe, wholesome foods. Key literature on the antimicrobial properties of sodium chloride in foods is reviewed here to address the impact of salt and sodium reduction or replacement on microbiological food safety and quality.

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    • "In the case on Spain, in 2008 the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (AESAN) started a salt reduction plan with certain specific goals enabling intake to go down from the current value of 9.7 g/day to an intake lower than 8.0 g/day by 2014. Salt reduction is not so easy to achieve in dry-cured meat products because salt has a preservative and antimicrobial effect as a consequence of the capacity of sodium chloride to reduce water activity achieving microbiological stability and extension of shelf life in meat products (Durack et al., 2008; Hutton, 2002; Taomina, 2010). It also has effects on the solubility of the myofibrillar meat proteins myosin and actin allowing gel formation and development of an optimum texture in these products (Desmond, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to study the yeast population during the manufacture of dry-cured "lacón" (a Spanish traditional meat product) and the effect of the salting time. For this study, six batches of "lacón" were manufactured with three different salting times (LS (3 days of salting), MS (4 days of salting) and HS (5 days of salting)). Yeast counts increased significantly (P < 0.001) during the whole process from 2.60 to 6.37 log cfu/g. An increased length of salting time did not affect yeast counts throughout the manufacture of dry-cured "lacón", although the highest yeast counts were obtained from LS batches. A total of 226 isolates were obtained from dry-cured "lacón" during drying-ripening stage, of which 151 were yeasts and were identified at the species level using molecular techniques. The total of 151 identified yeasts belonged to 4 different genera: Debaryomyces, Candida, Cryptococcus and Rhodotorula. Debaryomyces hansenii was the most abundant species isolated throughout the whole process as much in the interior as in the exterior of the pieces of three salt levels of "lacón" studied, while Candida zeylanoides was only isolated from the interior of MS and HS batches and from the exterior of LS and HS groups, but at lesser proportion than D. hansenii.
    Food Microbiology 05/2013; 34(1):12-8. DOI:10.1016/ · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    • "Dietary sodium is a key contributor to the development of hypertension in humans, which can be a precursor to cardiovascular disease in at-risk individuals (Adrogué and Madias, 2007; Taormina, 2010). Cheese is a major contributor to sodium in the diet (Grocery Manufacturers Association, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The range of sodium chloride (salt)-to-moisture ratio is critical in producing high-quality cheese products. The salt-to-moisture ratio has numerous effects on cheese quality, including controlling water activity (a(w)). Therefore, when attempting to decrease the sodium content of natural cheese it is important to calculate the amount of replacement salts necessary to create the same a(w) as the full-sodium target (when using the same cheese making procedure). Most attempts to decrease sodium using replacement salts have used concentrations too low to create the equivalent a(w) due to the differences in the molecular weight of the replacers compared with salt. This could be because of the desire to minimize off-flavors inherent in the replacement salts, but it complicates the ability to conclude that the replacement salts are the cause of off-flavors such as bitter. The objective of this study was to develop a model system that could be used to measure a(w) directly, without manufacturing cheese, to allow cheese makers to determine the salt and salt replacer concentrations needed to achieve the equivalent a(w) for their existing full-sodium control formulas. All-purpose flour, salt, and salt replacers (potassium chloride, modified potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride) were blended with butter and water at concentrations that approximated the solids, fat, and moisture contents of typical Cheddar cheese. Salt and salt replacers were applied to the model systems at concentrations predicted by Raoult's law. The a(w) of the model samples was measured on a water activity meter, and concentrations were adjusted using Raoult's law if they differed from those of the full-sodium model. Based on the results determined using the model system, stirred-curd pilot-scale batches of reduced- and full-sodium Cheddar cheese were manufactured in duplicate. Water activity, pH, and gross composition were measured and evaluated statistically by linear mixed model. The model system method accurately determined the concentrations of salt and salt replacer necessary to achieve the same a(w) as the full-sodium control in pilot-scale cheese using different replacement salts.
    Journal of Dairy Science 09/2011; 94(9):4360-5. DOI:10.3168/jds.2011-4359 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    • "Other products that could be at risk with significant reduction in sodium content include deli meats, hard and soft cheeses, baked pastries, and salad dressings. Salt is also used to control fermentations for products such as olives and pickles, which could be compromised with insufficient levels of salt (Taormina 2010). Overconsumption of total calories coupled with very low physical activity and too much sedentary time is the driving force behind the obesity epidemic, rather than the macronutrient distribution of a person's diet (DGAC 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This Institute of Food Technologists scientific review describes the scientific and technological achievements that made possible the modern production-to-consumption food system capable of feeding nearly 7 billion people, and it also discusses the promising potential of ongoing technological advancements to enhance the food supply even further and to increase the health and wellness of the growing global population. This review begins with a historical perspective that summarizes the parallel developments of agriculture and food technology, from the beginnings of modern society to the present. A section on food manufacturing explains why food is processed and details various food processing methods that ensure food safety and preserve the quality of products. A section about potential solutions to future challenges briefly discusses ways in which scientists, the food industry, and policy makers are striving to improve the food supply for a healthier population and feed the future. Applications of science and technology within the food system have allowed production of foods in adequate quantities to meet the needs of society, as it has evolved. Today, our production-to-consumption food system is complex, and our food is largely safe, tasty, nutritious, abundant, diverse, convenient, and less costly and more readily accessible than ever before. Scientific and technological advancements must be accelerated and applied in developed and developing nations alike, if we are to feed a growing world population.
    Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 08/2010; 9(5):572 - 599. DOI:10.1111/j.1541-4337.2010.00127.x · 4.18 Impact Factor
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