USA – Cargill has opened its first food-grade potassium chloride operation salt plant to help food manufacturers reduce sodium in their products as consumer demand for lower sodium options increases.

According to the company, the potassium chloride will help food manufacturers to lower sodium content by up to 50% in most of their food products.

“Many consumers are looking to lower their sodium consumption. As a result, our customers are asking for more reduced-sodium options.

By expanding our potassium chloride manufacturing capabilities, we increase the availability of lower sodium foods without sacrificing taste and functionality,” said Marcelo Montero, president, Cargill’s salt group.

With focus on nutrition, the company is introducing new products lower in sodium content in order to address the large number of consumers who are shifting to healthier options in the market shelves.

Cargill has a variety of reduced sodium products, including Potassium Pro Potassium Chloride, FlakeSelect Potassium Chloride (potassium chloride and salt), FlakeSelect Potassium Chloride/Sea Salt and Alberger brand flake salt.

“Sodium is a necessary nutrient, helping the body control blood pressure and blood volume and contributing to muscle and nerve health,” said Janice Johnson, PhD, Cargill technical service leader.

“Potassium chloride is an often undervalued ingredient as it provides the same health benefits of sodium chloride or salt in foods, but allows consumers to reduce their overall sodium intake.”

Public health sector has been raising alarm on the health implications of sodium chloride, associating it with chronic health problems including diabetes and obesity.

The company says joining efforts to find solution to the problem through an alternative, potassium chloride, which can give a salty flavor to foods, and reduce the amount of sodium chloride.

Located at its Watkins Glen, New York, the new product line is a boost to Cargill’s existing salt division and its ingredients portfolio as it establishes its global commodity market.