New affordable salt analyzer meets industry requirements
Knowing the salt content in food products is important not only for taste, but also for health and to comply with recognised standards. By directly measuring the harmful sodium concentrations rather than chloride levels, METTLER TOLEDO’s new EasyPlusTM Potentiometric Sodium Analyzer provides simple, fast and accurate results, in food laboratories and manufacturing processes.
It is well-known that a diet high in salt can lead to high blood pressure. In fact, the World Health Authority (WHO) has published data showing that high blood pressure is the number one health-risk factor in Europe. Hence, food producers need to declare and, often, reduce the levels of salt (sodium chloride) in their products.
South Africa’s Department of Health (DoH) has passed regulations to reduce sodium/salt levels in various categories of food products, for example: bread, breakfast cereals and porridges, margarines, fat spreads and butter spreads; ready-to-eat savoury snacks, potato crisps; processed meats; and raw-processed meat sausages; soup and gravy powders and various forms of stock products. The department chose a two-phase step-change process to get consumer palates used to the taste of processed products with less salt. The first targets need to be reached by June 2016 and the second targets by June 2019.
According to the Government gazette, “the methodology to determine total sodium content directly through chemical analysis by using a suitable potentiometric method or elemental analysis with AA (Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy) or ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) shall be applied for determining total sodium content when testing the above-mentioned foodstuffs”.
Current methods of measuring salt content often determine only chloride levels, which can lead to inaccurate sodium measurements due to the presence of other chloride compounds in addition to sodium chloride (NaCl). Using the potentiometric method to determine the levels of sodium in products, the METTLER TOLEDO EasyPlusTM Sodium Analyzer specifically measures the concentration of sodium, thereby conforming to regulated requirements.
The EasyPlus™ Sodium Analyser eliminates the need for complex instruments. It uses an integrated and dedicated sodium (Na+) evaluation algorithm to deliver highly accurate and repeatable results that are comparable to those achieved using more complex analytical techniques for sodium analysis. Because the sodium ions are measured directly, the EasyPlusTM Sodium Analyzer provides fast and accurate results, which are not compromised by the presence of other chloride compounds.
Thanks to easy sample preparation and no calibration tasks, operator time is reduced. The required standards and reagents are also cheaper and safer. Therefore, the EasyPlusTM Sodium Analyzer reduces both the initial investment and the operating costs of the analysis.