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TABLE 4-4 Alternatives to Sodium-Containing Compounds

Sodium Compound(s)

Sodium Alternative(s)



Leavening Agents:

Sodium bicarbonate

Sodium acid pyrophosphate

Sodium aluminum phosphate

Sodium hydrogen carbonate

Monocalcium phosphate

Dicalcium phosphate

Potassium bicarbonate

Gas may be released at a different time than with sodium-based leavening compounds, and processing changes may be needed to accommodate these difference

Kilcast and Angus, 2007; Reducing sodium, a matter of taste, 2007

Calcium acid pyrophosphate

Timing of gas release is closer to that of sodium-based leavening compounds

Reducing sodium, a matter of taste, 2007

Ammonium bicarbonate

Has been found to increase the potential for acrylamide formation, creating concern about its use

European Commission, 2003

Sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP)


Suitable for use in combination with sodium bicarbonate to reduce use of SAPP in cake-like products

Reichenbach and Singer, 2008

Sodium metabisulfite as a dough conditioner


Provides similar dough-softening action, but is more costly than sodium metabisulfite

Cauvain, 2003

Sodium phosphates as water-binding agents

Potassium phosphates

Provides water binding in deli meats and hams similar to that of sodium phosphates

Ruusenen et al., 2002

Sodium phosphates and sodium citrates as emulsifying salts

Potassium citrates, potassium phosphates, calcium phosphates

Can be used as a replacement in some processed cheese products

Guinee and O’Kennedy, 2007

and the elimination of sodium-containing emulsifying salts in certain processed cheeses (Guinee and O’Kennedy, 2007). These and other changes in processing techniques may have the potential to allow significant sodium reduction, but more research is needed to further develop and implement these technologies.

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