Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cutting Salt Does Not Reduce Processed Food Safety, Say Scientists

Date:
September 6, 2007
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Low salt foods are just as safe or safer than high salt level products in spite of expectations that cutting salt levels in food would increase the risk of spoilage by bacteria.

Salt can have a stimulating effect on some types of bacteria, researchers in Ireland confirmed.
Credit: iStockphoto/Joan Vicent Cantσ Roig

Low salt foods are just as safe or safer than high salt level products in spite of expectations that cutting salt levels in food would increase the risk of spoilage by bacteria, say scientists.

Because of the known link between heart disease and high salt diets, food manufacturers have come under increasing pressure from health protection agencies to reduce the salt levels in their products. But reducing salt could also be expected to increase the risk of food spoiling, since salt is an ancient and widely used preservative.

Scientists from the University of Limerick in Ireland checked safety levels of low salt foods by studying the behaviour of different strains of food spoilage bacteria inoculated into model systems.

"In general we discovered that the growth of different sorts of typical food spoilage bacteria was unaffected by the various salt levels we tested, which means that low salt foods are just as safe as conventionally processed ones" says Edel Durack.

All the bacteria studied were capable of growing in the highest concentration of salt used by the scientists at 3%. Even at this level of salt none of the bacteria experienced any difficulty in surviving for 24 hours. The researchers did find differences between the salt tolerances of all the bacteria tested, with some strains actually exhibiting greater resistance to the high salt environment.

Scientists already knew that salt has a stimulating effect on some types of bacteria and the Limerick team confirmed this finding with their work, which was independently funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food. Their research implies that some high salt foods may be more at risk of bacterial spoilage than they need to be.

"At the moment our results are helping processors reduce salt levels in frozen ready to eat meals. Generally these meals carry a large percentage of the recommended daily allowance of salt. This type of food is becoming increasingly popular and is in high demand due to its convenience and time restrictions placed on consumers due to modern day lifestyles", says Edel Durack.

"Hopefully our study will lead to the development of a new range of low salt foods that will help people to reduce salt levels in their diet, reducing their risk of cardiovascular diseases linked to excess sodium, without compromising product safety."

Ms Durack is presenting the poster "Monitoring of the effects of varying salt levels on growth of food spoilage bacteria using plate counting and Flow Cytometry" on Tuesday 04 September 2007 in the Plenary session of the 161st Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, 03 - 06 September 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Cutting Salt Does Not Reduce Processed Food Safety, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903204952.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2007, September 6). Cutting Salt Does Not Reduce Processed Food Safety, Say Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903204952.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Cutting Salt Does Not Reduce Processed Food Safety, Say Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903204952.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) — A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) — Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins