Canned and prepared soups are a sodium landmine many consumers have stepped into inadvertently over the years. But as more and more of us need to cut back on sodium intake, soup makers have been working overtime to find a solution.
The problem with canned soups is that they taste bland to begin with. Salt is added for two reasons – 1) it is a cheap preservative that lengthens the product shelf life and 2) it is a cheap way to enhance the product’s flavor.
Lower the salt content, and the soup tastes bad. No buyers. What’s a multi-billion corporation to do?
Campbell’s Soup company is now claiming it has maintained its good taste AND reduced the sodium level in it soups by 32% and more through smart formulation. Here’s a piece from a company press release last month:
In the wellness arena, Campbell’s iconic Tomato soup, which is enjoyed by 25 million Americans at least once a week, will feature the same great taste with a major sodium reduction of 32 percent to 480 mg per serving. Campbell will reposition “Healthy Request” soups in the heart health space by further reducing the sodium levels to 410 mg per serving and featuring the American Heart Association certification on a redesigned label. Both products will be available in September.
It’s interesting to learn how Campbell’s managed such a reduction in sodium without sacrificing taste.
According to the company, they are using a proprietary kind of sea salt with less sodium, as well as additional tinkering with the ingredients. Last time we took chemistry 101, salt is 40% sodium, 60% chloride. Additional minerals found in sea salt add up to less than 1%. So we’ll have to keep guessing for now what really changed.
For more information on the new soups and a taste verdict, there’s a good writeup by Jennifer LaRue Huget over at the Washington Post.
What to do at the supermarket:
If you can’t / won’t prepare soup at home, look for the low sodium products in the soup aisle. They should have less than 500mg of sodium per serving.
If the soup tastes bland, you can always shake some salt onto your serving at home.
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