Baking & Snack - March 2021 - 39

FORMULATION
Chemical Leavening

find the

Chemical leavening can provide bakers an alternate route for sodium reduction.
by Charlotte Atchley

A

As the baking industry reviews the Dietary Guidelines
for Americans 2020, sodium remains a concern. The
average intake of Americans is 3,393 mg a day. That average sits near the middle of a range that spans about
2,000 to 5,000 mg of sodium daily. Compare that with
the amount of sodium Americans should be consuming: between 1,000 and 2,200 mg per day, depending on
age and caloric intake. To quote the Dietary Guidelines
themselves, " There is very little room for food choices
that are high in sodium. "
Sodium is in many foods, especially those produced
commercially. According to the National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey for 2013-2016, yeast
breads and tortillas made up 3% of sodium intake. That's
not terrible, but throw in other categories that also include the baking industry: Desserts and sweet snacks
contribute 4%; chips, crackers and savory snacks make
up another 4%; and sandwiches dominate, contributing to 21% of the average sodium intake. While all the
components of a sandwich - meat, cheeses, vegetables
and condiments - contribute to that final tally, the
bread carrying all of those ingredients makes its own
contribution.
Reducing sodium, however, is no easy task. Cutting
the amount of salt, or sodium chloride, may be the most
straightforward way to bring the number down, but this

route to sodium reduction may mute taste, the consumer's No. 1 priority no matter how much they say they
want to eat healthy. Finding other avenues to reduce
the sodium content of a formulation can help offset the
flavor impact and still hit the goal number. In products
like cakes, biscuits, crackers, cookies, muffins and pizza
crusts, the chemical leavening system can provide just
the path.

In baked snacks that
rely on salt for their
flavor, chemical
leavening can provide
a different strategy for
reducing sodium.
┬ęcoskun - stock.adobe.com

The road well-traveled
Chemical leavening systems contain a base and an acid
that when they react create the rising effect that provides
volume in baked goods, when they aren't relying on natural leaveners like yeast. These ingredients can make a
significant contribution to the final sodium count.
" There are some sodium-free and low-sodium chemical leavening products on the market that can make a
huge impact on the sodium content of the final product, "
said Nita Livvix, R&D manager, Clabber Girl. " Up to
50% of the sodium can come from leavening agents, but
there are options available that can reduce sodium. "
Despite the alternatives out there, the most commonly used chemical leaveners have sodium in the name.
" Sodium bicarbonate is the most frequently used carbon dioxide in chemical leavening systems because of its
ease of use, predictable performance and relatively low

www.bakingbusiness.com / March 2021 Baking & Snack 39


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Baking & Snack - March 2021

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