We all know dieting and eating healthy means kissing our favorite sweets and salty treats goodbye…right? Not exactly.
For decades, we’ve heard that “diet” or “light” products aren’t as delicious as the real thing. And sugar replacements like aspartame or stevia can produce an aftertaste that’s detectable and even off-putting to some.
But there’s big innovation on the horizon, and Griffith Foods is at the forefront of making healthier ingredients taste as good as consumers expect.
Why Sugar and Salt?
Sure, sugar and salt are delicious to the human palette. But consuming high amounts of sodium from salt has been shown to contribute to cardiovascular health risks such as increased blood pressure, while overconsumption of sugar can lead to excess calorie consumption and weight gain, as well as an increased risk of dental cavities. Guided by our Purpose, we are driven to nourish the world and help our customers create products that are better-for-you and better for the planet.
At Griffith Foods, we’ve developed a toolkit of innovative solutions that reduce or replace sugar and salt with natural solutions — often delighting taste buds even more than the foods they mimic. That’s because these flavors are highly flexible, lending well to the development of healthier alternatives with undetectable changes in taste. In fact, research suggests that reducing sodium by just 10% is imperceptible to the human tongue.
Flexible Sugar and Salt Solutions
Our toolkits provide tangible resources for processors to adjust ingredient levels, replace salt and sugar with natural options, and experiment with different blending methods. This may include swapping salt for potassium chloride, which reduces sodium intake without forfeiting salty flavor. In the best cases, simply adjusting the combination of herbs and spices in a product can reduce sodium up to 30% without sacrificing taste.
For an alternative sweetener option, sugar can be replaced with natural ingredients like agave, fruit syrups, or tree sugars instead. Or it may require the use of sweet proteins, which are chemically different from sugar and occur in a variety of plants, allowing for cleaner labels and adding depth to new sweet and savory creations.
“The beauty and strength of the toolkits is you can serve many customers based on their preferences,” says Johan Boot, VP, Research and Development for Griffith Foods Europe & Africa.
Changing perceptions about “diet,” “light,” or “sugar/salt-free” foods may also be a matter of modifying marketing vocabulary and packaging. With preconceived notions that these foods lack taste, consumers will never be willing to try alternatives that are actually delicious.
“I believe we should be creative, while staying transparent. It also depends on what part of society you aim at.”Johan Boot, VP, Research and Development, Griffith Foods Europe & Africa
That’s because taste buds do vary across the globe, and some cultures are more willing to try alternatives than others. While experimentation and changes in flavor are generally accepted in Europe, some countries like the U.S. and Canada aren’t predisposed to prefer subtle, natural flavors. Around the world, flavor affinities are passed down from generation to generation over hundreds of years, making it more difficult to introduce new tastes. However, as consumers become more health conscious and accept new flavors for the greater goal of eating nutritious food, the demand for more nutritious ingredients will continue to rise.
Finding a balanced solution doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Flexible salt and sugar solutions make ingredient modification possible, while innovative processes introduce flavor profiles that help bridge the gap between taste and nutrition. With research and development that’s targeted around solving our partners’ unique challenges, we can find creative salt and sugar solutions that responsibly nourish the world.