Salt often refers to sodium, or sodium chloride. Salt is something we all use to flavor our food. This is to give our guests the experience they expect from us. Doing absolutely nothing to create taste is therefore also not possible. Because this is what is expected of us. We can handle this well. Sodium is the part of sodium chloride that is harmful to our blood pressure, heart and vessels and our kidneys in excessive consumption units.
Table salt: 39.1% sodium
Sea salt: 38.3% sodium
Himalayan salt: 36.8% sodium
Celtic salt: 33.8% sodium
To convert sodium to salt, multiply the amount of sodium by 2.54. So 1 gram of sodium is 2.54 grams of salt. Or vice versa, 2.54 grams of salt equals 1 gram of sodium. On the basis of this you can calculate the sodium content that is used. In theory, you would therefore use less sodium if you replaced the table salt with another salt. However, it is true that we often use it more and therefore still get the same result. The other salt variants often have other minerals in them. These numbers are just too low to really contribute to the RDA.
There are various salts in the dissolved state in the seawater. One liter of seawater contains about 35 grams of salts:
24 grams sodium chloride NaCl
5 grams magnesium chloride MgCl2
4 grams sodium sulfate Na2SO4
0.7 grams of calcium chloride CaCl2
0.8 grams magnesium bromide MgBr2
Chlorides (different salt’s)
Sodium chloride is what we know as salt, table salt. And this is the most common chloride in our kitchen. Table salt is almost 100% sodium chloride. All salt types have different amounts of sodium.
One option is to use a different chloride grade as an alternative to sodium chloride. Calcium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride are examples of this, and you can see that some of these are also in our sea salt.
- Substitute for sodium chloride (table salt)
- Has a salty taste
Waste product when making soda
- E number E509
- Is used as a moisture absorber because it extracts moisture from the air (uncovered it becomes liquid after a few days because of the moisture absorption from the air)
- Used as an acidity regulator to allow the addition of acidic or alkaline substances to have minimal effect on the PH value of the product
- When mixed with water, a lot of heat is released, so never eat dry. If you dissolve 500 grams of calcium chloride in 1 liter of water while stirring, the reaction causes a temperature of about 55 degrees Celsius. An example that we all know is a hot pack. This is water with calcium chloride
- It is a complexing agent, ie it improves quality and stability in the product, especially due to the cohesion of metals and fats. As a result, the fat in your product does not oxidize or less quickly. It also provides good stability to the proteins
- Calcium chloride has a molecular mass of 110,984, which is over 1/3 of the molecular mass of sugar. This means that calcium chloride has a freezing point lowering effect 3x as high as granulated sugar
- Substitute for sodium chloride (table salt)
- The substance is included in the WHO list of essential medicines
- Low sodium salt variants available in stores are mixtures of sodium chloride and potassium chloride in proportions of roughly 33% sodium / 66% potassium to 25% sodium / 75% potassium (‘low sodium’)
- More than 5 grams per day causes complaints
- It has a more bitter taste than salt, it is somewhere between bitter and salty.
- E number E508
- Has a positive effect on blood pressure, lowers blood pressure and is therefore a counterpart to sodium chloride
- If people have difficulty regulating substances in their body due to kidney problems, a too high level of potassium can arise, which can cause heart problems
- Has the same properties in relation to the gluten process in bread making
Has a positive effect on blood pressure, lowers blood pressure and is therefore a counterpart to sodium chloride
- Potassium chloride has a molecular mass of 74.55 g/mol, which is more than 1/4.5 of the molecular mass of sugar. This means that potassium chloride has a 4.5x higher freezing point lowering effect than granulated sugar
- Extremely healthy for your body
- Helps in good energy management and distribution of minerals
- Helps the functioning of your organs and especially your kidneys
- Residual product when making potassium chloride
- Provides a calming effect
- Used in making tofu
- Has a bitter taste
- Used in baby milk powder
- Magnesium chloride has a molecular mass of 95.23 g/mol g/mol, which is over 1/3.5 of the molecular mass of sugar. This means that magnesium chloride has a 3.5x higher freezing point lowering effect than granulated sugar
Ammonium Chloride (Salmiak)
- Used in making drop
- Is a substitute for sodium
- Used by bakers as a nutrient for yeast in bread making
- Used in the Middle East to improve the “crispy” effect in foods such as cookies, etc.
By replacing part of the sodium with magnesium, potassium and calcium, you decrease sodium intake and increase the rest. the rest is structurally not received enough in the western world, so you help improve the health of your guests. There are also many health benefits to these substances and by getting the right amount, many diseases and medical conditions are prevented. The same applies to these substances as to everything that is good and bad. Getting too much is never good either.
To learn more about the lowering of you freezing point, click here.
Glutamates and flavor enhancers
Monosodium glutamate has 2/3 less sodium than table salt (NaCl). Monosodium glutamate has gotten a bad reputation over the years. One of the most commonly used synonyms for monosodium glutamate is yeast extract. There is a small group of people who can get side effects from using this to a large extent. The maximum is set at 30 mg p.kg. body weight.
There are several glutamates, and not all glutamates are equally bad or equally good. But it is actually always about monosodium glutamate, this is the most commonly used and also the only one that is readily available because there is the greatest demand for it. It is theoretically the worse of the group because it contains a sodium molecule. And we want these as little as possible because we get too much of it.
Every glutamate has glutamic acid. This provides the umami taste. Only glutamic acid creates the umami taste, no other substance. However, this substance can be enhanced by other flavor enhancers. Glutamates are often fortified by Sodium Inosinate. By adding 5% Sodium Inosinate to a glutamate, it is fortified by 1000%. Glutamic acid is an amino acid that your body uses. It is a fundamental amino acid. The most common even in nature.
Now these substances have had to go through a whole test before they are approved by Europe and so many other parts of the world. A substance may not simply be used as an additive. In the European Union (EU), new additions must first be approved. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assesses whether the substances can be used safely. They then receive an E number from the European Commission. The law states in which products an additive may be used and the maximum amount that may be added. Yet people have a bad idea about this, while salt is just as bad, and we use it to an extreme extent without thinking about it.
Herbs and spices instead of salt
Herbs and spices are important to use in creating the right flavor. Due to the correct use of this, you need less flavorings and flavor enhancers. However, this is not enough in our profession, because our guests would like us to create something they cannot (or cannot) create at home.
So it is my conclusion that I draw from this that in our profession we should look for the edges of what is acceptable and responsible in order to create the experience that is desired from us. This is something that has been going very wrong for a very long time. Because we are not concerned with all aspects of what we do, but we have a tunnel vision of what we know, what is cheap and what is easy.
In my experience, we should replace our salt (sodium chloride with a part of potassium, calcium and magnesium chloride in this way to contribute to a healthy household in your body. I also think that by combining glutamates with sodium inosinate, despite the bad image, being able to make a lot of progress. Because of this combination, you only need such small amounts to flavor your food that the amounts you get are nil. And thus far below the limits set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). You can also drastically reduce your sodium intake. A good balance between chlorides and glutamates can ensure that you can not only cook “tasty”, but that it is also a lot more responsible.