Valio introduces an unprecedented innovation to reduce salt
The food industry has long been expected to provide solutions for reducing salt. With Valio ValSa®, the new milk salt innovation from Valio, the salt content of foods can be significantly reduced without compromising on taste. At the same time, the minerals naturally contained in milk can be put to good use.
People eat too much salt in Finland and all around the world. Salt is the most significant risk factor for high blood pressure and it is the biggest factor in the world reducing the number of healthy years of life. Finns want to reduce their salt consumption and nearly 30% of Finns report that they follow a low-salt diet.*
Valio and Fazer, two companies known for their innovativeness, have tackled the challenge together. In May 2016, they introduced products that contain significantly less salt but still taste great: Valio Polar® 15 cheese with less salt, Valio Oivariini® spread with less salt and Fazer’s Oululainen Reilu football-themed bread rolls.
What is milk salt?
Milk salt consists of the natural minerals in milk: potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium and sodium. Milk salt contains nearly 80% less sodium than ordinary table salt. The minerals found in milk come from the fodder eaten by cows.
When milk is processed into cheese, whey is generated as a by-product. Whey consists of whey protein and the natural minerals in milk – that is, milk salt. For a long time, whey from milk has been utilised by extracting its high-quality whey protein. Now a purpose has also been found for the natural minerals in milk: Valio ValSa® milk salt.
Reducing salt intake is a global trend
These new products have a potentially significant effect on public health. The daily salt intake of Finns would decrease by 11% if Finns were to choose products with a salt level equivalent to that in products manufactured with Valio ValSa® milk salt, instead of normally salted bread, fat and cheese.**
The unprecedented innovation also has export potential, as excessive salt intake is a global problem. Products with less salt have been available, but reducing salt has previously meant compromising on taste. Even internationally, Valio ValSa® is the first solution that makes it possible to manufacture products with a lower salt content without sacrificing taste.
This article was written by Teea Björklund, who serves as Category Business Manager at Valio. She was responsible for the launch of the Valio products containing Valio ValSa® milk salt and is currently involved in developing new cheeses with a lower salt content.
*Health Behaviour among the Finnish Adult Population, THL, 2014
**Effect of sodium content on arterial illness events and health care costs in Finland: observation on bread products, spreads and cheeses, MedFiles, March 2016
Published June 23, 2016