Why Do Food Processors Use So Much Salt? Part 2

Why Do Food Processors Use So Much Salt? Part 2

Every year food manufacturers dump about 5 billion pounds of salt into our foods. This is the second in a several part series about the use of salt in food manufacturing.

Last week we gave you reason #1 for why food manufacturers put so much salt into our foods: it’s a cheap ingredient.

This week we’ll look at reason #2: masking.

What is masking, you might be wondering. Masking is just what it sounds like, using salt to cover up bad tastes in food.

Now, we’ve all had the experience of making dinner, and adding a touch of salt to improve the flavor of the dish. But that’s enhancing the flavor of bland food. This is something entirely different.

Today, many processed foods are made up of lots of chemicals and additives, none of which have a particularly pleasant flavor whether tasted individually or in combination with each other. Masking is used to cover up those objectionable flavors so that they cannot be detected.

Spices and herbs are also great at flavor enhancement and masking, but are significantly more expensive additions than salt.

New York Times reporter Michael Moss in his investigative book Salt Sugar Fat writes that:

“Salt is the great fixer. … Cornflakes, for example, taste metallic without it. Crackers are bitter and soggy and stick to the roof of your mouth. Ham turns so rubbery it can bounce.”

At Step One Foods we don’t need to add salt to our foods to cover up the taste of chemicals or other additives. Because we don’t use them. We use high quality, whole food ingredients that taste the way food is supposed to taste.

Reference: Moss, Michael. Salt Sugar Fat. 2013.

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