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About Sodium and Common Salt in baked products.

Sodium is one of the major elemental components of Common Salt.

The traditional level of Common Salt as added to food in general is usually around 1 – 2%.
Bakers have traditionally added Common Salt at a rate of between 2 - 3% of the flour weight, and this is roughly a rate of 1.4 – 1.9% in the finished product.
Higher rates have been traditionally used in colder climates such as in the countries of Northern Europe, possibly because Common Salt has traditionally been used as a food preservative.

The sodium content of the Laucke Retail range of products have been reduced in accordance with the global covenant on sodium reduction. The sodium content is displayed on the packaging of all Laucke products that contain added salt.

About “Added Salt” in baked products: There are four major characteristics of salt that may influence consumers perspective on baked products -

  • The most subjective, being Flavour. As Consumers progressively select diets that are lower in common Salt so as to achieve reduced Sodium consumption, consumers also progressively evolve to a different perspective of what they consider as an attractive flavour profile in food. Thus “traditional” salt levels in many forms of food have become perceived as being “too” salty, and so many consumers have become comfortable the flavour profile associated with lower levels of salt in bread.
  • Biological Functions. There appears to be a level at which the components of common salt are necessary to sustain microbiological function in both humans and the fermentative microorganisms, and it is therefore desirable to maintain an optimum amount in the dough and in our food.
  • Dough strength. The components of common salt, as part of natural biochemical reactions that necessarily occur within a dough as part of biological activity, have a strengthening effect on the proteins in a dough, enabling better gas retention and “lighter” breads with bolder appearance to be produced.
  • 4.Rate of fermentation. The microorganisms that leaven a dough such as Yeast are required for practical bread making reasons to provide a controlled rate of fermentation. In a baking environment, a reduction in common salt allows early prolific fermentation but there is point at which the fermentation gets a little out of control, where a weakened protein matrix is pushed too hard and too quickly for the protein to maintain the structure of the dough, and the dough can collapse either in the proofing or baking stage. If salt is reduced, then a balancing reduction in yeast quantity is required.

Adjust the level of salt on our Mixes:

A person who Creates and Consumes baked products and bread using one of our “reduced salt” Mixes can reduce their sodium intake even more.

If you wish to reduce your sodium intake even further, you can add a proportion of a suitable salt-free flour such as Wallaby Flour to the Mix, so as to dilute the amount of Added Salt in the mix without severe compromise to the baked product quality.

Example: Most bread machines take 600 g or 500 g of dry mix. To reduce sodium intake, substitute a portion of the actual bread mix with either Wallaby or Wholemeal flour. To substitute 40%, add 240 g of flour to 360 g of mix and for a total of 600 g of flour-based ingredient in the recipe. This would be our suggested maximum dilution so as to still obtain a suitable product. This dilution will reduce the sodium to around 180 – 200 mg per 100g of baked product. Whilst the water rate would remain the same, the yeast level would need to be reduced by 1/4 teaspoon.

Bread made with NO salt:

Acceptable bread can be produced with No added salt using wholemeal flour, water, oil and yeast only, but most people may judge that the texture and eating quality (mouth feel and flavour) creates bread that is almost inedible, and that the bread crumb is fragile such that it is hard to slice and spread.

Salt in Commercial bread:

We expect that smaller bakeries producing breads that are aligned with normal consumer expectations would be providing bread products with a sodium content on average of about 400 mg per 100g.

We expect that the larger commercial bakeries would be around 300 mg per 100g.
At Laucke we expect that consumers making bread with our Mixes would create breads that would average 300 mg per 100g.

With specialty and artisan breads, such breads evolve from the production processes and the consumer taste preferences of their country of origin, so the sodium levels can vary considerably. Often, because salt is generally the most significant contributor to flavour, it will be likely that such breads will have a higher sodium content than average.