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Tastes great! Less salty!

I’ve previously confessed my semi-irrational fondness for Campbell’s tomato soup, so reading this makes me happy.

Executives at the Campbell Soup Co. have heard the same thing almost since Andy Warhol was making art out of their cans in the 1960s: Lower the sodium in soup without sacrificing taste and people will eat even more of it.

Now, after years of gradually reducing the sodium in its soups, the Camden-based company says it has made a breakthrough: natural, low-sodium sea salt. It will be used in about 30 soups — both new and reformulated recipes — scheduled to be on supermarket shelves in August, Campbell announced Wednesday.

“We’ve been everywhere on the globe trying to find a sea salt with all the characteristics of this one,” Chief Executive Douglas Conant said.

The company is hoping the lower-sodium salt will help soup sales, which have stabilized after losing ground to other convenience foods in the 1990s.

Regular table salt is 99.7 percent sodium chloride. The federal Food and Drug Administration says that adults should eat no more than 2,300 milligrams a day — or just under a teaspoon.

A few years ago, the average serving of a Campbell’s soup contained almost half the daily limit. By using less salt, the company got its average down to 850 milligrams.

The sea salt in the new soups has 40 percent less sodium than the regular stuff, said George Dowdie, Campbell’s vice president for research and development.

We only buy the original lower-sodium versions of Campbell’s soups, so I’m glad to hear that they’ll be even better in that department shortly. I’m thinking there’s gonna be a can or two in the works for my weekend. Mmmm…

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One Comment

  1. Mathwiz says:

    Lower the sodium in soup without sacrificing taste and people will eat even more of it.

    Easier said than done, unfortunately. Human taste buds are highly specific for sodium. Lithium can fool them, but that’s psychoactive, and toxic in the amounts required for a salt substitute.

    Now, after years of gradually reducing the sodium in its soups,

    Been weaning us off the stuff, have they? Clever!

    … the Camden-based company says it has made a breakthrough: natural, low-sodium sea salt.

    “We’ve been everywhere on the globe trying to find a sea salt with all the characteristics of this one,” Chief Executive Douglas Conant said.

    The sea salt in the new soups has 40 percent less sodium than the regular stuff, said George Dowdie, Campbell’s vice president for research and development.

    Color me skeptical. Sure, it’s possible to get the percentage by weight of sodium down by substituting heavier atoms, like potassium or calcium, for some of the sodium (or iodide for some of the chloride ions). But if you reduce the actual amount of sodium in the soup, it’s going to taste less salty too!

    Methinks they’re just reducing the amount of sodium a bit, then grossly exaggerating what they’ve done with a generous helping of hype about “natural sea salt.”