Where would sodium reduction be without technical experts who spend hours, days and months supporting food producers? In this series we sit down for a coffee and chat with local sodium reduction experts and partners. First stop, the Netherlands and Mr Loet Piels.
Name: Loet Piels
Role: B2B Account Manager & Product Manager Saltwell
Company: Solina Netherlands B.V.
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Qualifications: Chemical Engineer – BSC
Expertise area: Technical applications and sales of Functional Ingredients
So, to get started, tell us briefly what it is you do Loet?
I am product/account manager B2B for Solina Netherlands in the savoury sector and work mainly with clients processing meat, meat snacks, fish, and vegetarian items. Their requests for taste and visual developments are handled by our chefs in the R&D team and their functional and nutritional requests by me together with our technical R&D team. The requests most times lead to quality wet or dry solution blends of ingredients. Solina Netherlands can produce both in our own factories.
So how long have you been working with sodium reduction?
I have been working with sodium reduction for more than 20 years now. In the beginning mainly by promoting blends where sodium chloride was exchanged partly by potassium chloride. In this way the sodium reduction is made but the taste profile was not very good. Since we have the opportunity to work with Saltwell, a sea salt with a natural combination of minerals that is also 35% less sodium in one grain, not a blend, the negative taste impact of potassium chloride disappeared.
How long have you been working specifically with Saltwell solutions?
I have been working with Saltwell since March 2014. The combination of a nice tasting solution with 35% less sodium and good labelling and reasonable price made Saltwell an excellent ingredient to use in food industry.
What types of food producers and applications do you help the most?
Mainly the processed meat and processed vegetarian industry. Also, soups, sauces, and ready meal producers too. The main reason is that they want their products to commit to the goals as set by government in combination with food industry and food processors.
What do they say about using Saltwell?
They tell me that Saltwell is an excellent 1 to 1 replacement with clean labelling: reduced sodium sea salt. They say sometimes that it’s an expensive ‘salt’ but a very affordable solution to realize sodium reduction with a good taste.
How do you experience working with Saltwell as a sodium reduction solution?
It is a very easy product to work with. The 1 to 1 replacement in combination with the 35% sodium reduction makes it an outstanding product to use by improve Nutriscore values. This is one of the challenges in our market at the moment.
How do you compare the functional and flavour performance of Saltwell to other solutions?
Compared to other sodium reduction solutions with 35% reduction the flavour of Saltwell is natural salt like, and also the labelling is more consumer friendly than for example potassium chloride or additive E508. Other solutions I have worked with are more expensive, or they give a non-salty taste profile.
What trends have you seen recently and where do you see the Dutch market heading in regards salt and sodium reduction?
More and more Dutch people are conscious about their health. Also, our government and the EU are pushing towards reducing sugar, sodium and saturated fat. Implementing Nutriscore is planned for January 1st 2022 and will give a new boost in the direction of sodium reduction as sodium levels in products are giving a big negative effect on the products SCORE. Using Saltwell is a very easy way to improve that Nutriscore.
What’s your advice for Dutch brands and companies seeking to improve the nutritional values of their products?
Call on Solina, we can help you with the easy solution Saltwell but also with a lot of other sometimes a bit more complex solutions to improve your Nutriscore.
How can people get in touch with you?
They can send me a mail. [email@example.com]