If product sales are any indication, consumers have unofficially decreed 2020 as the year of indulgent comfort foods like mac and cheese and loaded nachos. Unfortunately for them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decreed that no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day should be a part of the average consumer’s diet.
Consider that a single serving of nacho cheese sauce — a mere quarter cup — contains about 500 mg of sodium. That’s more than 20% of the recommended daily allowance. One popular fast-food restaurant’s menu features a nacho entree that has double that amount!
Cheese is inherently high in sodium, but when you reduce the amount of cheese in a formulation, the flavor and mouthfeel typically suffer. Watch the video featuring Grande Custom Ingredients Group’s Brad Nielsen, sharing about an innovative new ingredient that can help food formulators achieve reduced sodium without compromises.
We’re really excited to launch Grande Gusto® into the marketplace. It has a lot of value within the food industry when we look at the applications of cheese sauces and cheese soups. It can provide cost reduction, sodium replacement and improvements of texture and mouthfeel which can add to the quality of the products and help our customers gain market share.
The key applications of cheese sauces and cheese soups are typically highly indulgent products within the food industry, and with highly indulgent products comes calories, fat and sodium. One of the things Grande Gusto can provide is the reduction of fat through the replacement of cheese in a cheese sauce or a cheese soup. Typically we can replace somewhere around 30% of the cheese in those formulas. In addition, what comes along with that, because of the savory flavors that Gusto brings to a formula, is the reduction in sodium. Typically in cheese sauces or cheese soups we can reduce sodium somewhere in the range of 10-20%.
Sodium reduction continues to be hot-button within the food industry as consumers continue to have issues with high blood pressure and heart disease. The FDA has actually put out regulations where they want consumers to reduce their sodium intake from about 3400 mg all the way to 2300 mg per day, which is a pretty big jump when you’re talking about a 30% reduction.
A lot of food companies are focusing on different ways that they can reduce sodium in their products, and it becomes harder and harder when you’re looking at indulgent products like cheese sauces or cheese soups. And Grande Gusto can be an excellent solution to help provide you with an opportunity to make a great-tasting product that has great texture, mouthfeel, and still can meet the nutritional requirements of consumers.
Enhance Salty Notes While Actually Reducing Sodium
Because of the enzymes that occur naturally in Grande Gusto — a new, innovative form of all-natural whey protein concentrate — the umami and salty notes are allowed to shine through in formulations. Like all ingredients offered by Grande Custom Ingredients Group, Grande Gusto is a shelf-stable, clean-label product that is derived from the traditional cheesemaking process and allows food manufacturers to reduce their ingredient costs and improve inventory controls.
Food formulators can reduce the use of fresh or processed cheese (and reduce sodium levels in tandem) without the need for starches, gums or chemically modified emulsifiers to achieve the rich, creamy consistency their customers crave. Controlled studies prove that taste and texture are not compromised. In fact, despite a 10% reduction of sodium and calories and 25% less fat, a macaroni and cheese formulation using Grande Gusto scored higher for taste and texture in a side-by-side comparison with the formulation that used American Cheese.
Sodium reduction is a top initiative among many food manufacturers, and Grande Gusto can help them achieve their goals for more nutritious products. Explore how Grande Gusto can improve your formulations in our product information sheet. And reach out to our team of food scientists to discuss how easily it can incorporate into your food systems. Be sure to request a sample, too.