Synergy is introducing a new variant of its Saporesse lactic yeast extract, which is said to extend salt reduction possibilities to a broader range of food categories.
Food manufacturers have been under pressure to reduce the salt in their products since in the Western world consumers' intake is far too high - on average 10 to 12g per day.
Reducing this to 6g per day is considered to be a realistic target, and would considerably reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease that is associated with too much salt.
Synergy, the flavour and savoury ingredients arm of Carbery, introduced its first Saporesse ingredient in 2005. The original Saporesse, also from lactic acid, has a lot of dairy notes, and can be used in products with a dairy flavour, such as cheese sauses.
Saporesse Plus, on the other hand, has fewer dairy notes. This opens up new uses (in addition to cheese sauces and the like) for products that need a weaker dairy profile. These include tomato soups, sauces, ready meals, snack seasonings, savoury pastries, and coatings.
A spokesperson for Synergy told FoodNavigator.com that the ingredient can allow for up to 20 per cent salt to be used. Used in its stead, Saporesse Plus can be used as a "building block", she said, to enhance the taste of the salt that is there and add depth.
Although Saporesse Plus is derived from yeast, the company says it does not have meaty, beery or bitter notes that are sometimes associated with Brewers' yeast extracts.
Savoury snack food is understood to be one of the most technically challenging categories when it comes to salt reduction, since there is a need to ensure that the product retains a taste profile that is still acceptable to the consumer.
It also boasts a clean label advantage, and is free of monosodium glutamate and hydrolysed vegetable protein.
In 2006, the UK's Food Standards Agency issued voluntary targets on salt reduction for some 85 different food categories, to be met by 2010.
Members of the Snacks, Nuts and Crisps Manufacturers Association are working to reduce the salt in standard potato crisps to 1.5g per 100g average.
For extruded snacks, such as cheesy corn puffs and potato hoops, the target is 2.8g salt per 100g average. Pellet snacks, like prawn cocktail shells and crispy bacon corn snacks, are working to a target of 3.4g per 100g average.
The above targets cover all flavours except salt and vinegar. For all salt and vinegar flavoured snacks the target is 3.1g of salt per 100g average.
Synergy's Saporesse Plus is being launched in both Europe and the United States.