The firm's sub4salt product, first launched in the US earlier this year, claims to allow manufacturers to cut salt content by up to 50 percent without losses in taste. With excess sodium linked to an increase in the risk for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke, finding ways to reduce the salt content in food products has been a priority for ingredient and food manufacturing firms in recent years. To this end, Jungbunzlauer, a leading manufacturer of citric acid, xanthan gum and gluconates, has also targeted salt reduction as an objective. "This is definitely a product the market is calling for," Jungbunzlauer's Jeremy Poole told FoodNavigator-USA.com. The firm, which launched sub4salt in Europe at the HIE show in November 2006, claims its product has three primary benefits: it can be used to achieve similar sensory characteristics to salt; it has no metallic potassium chloride aftertaste, and its usage and handling are similar to those of salt. Jungbunzlauer said that sub4salt is a patent-pending mineral salts blend that has shown "superior" results in applications including soups, bakery products, sauces, snack seasonings and meat products. According to the American Medical Association, most Americans consume two to three times the amount of sodium that is healthy, with an estimated 75 to 80 percent of the daily intake of sodium coming from processed and restaurant foods. And although the battle to reduce salt in foods has so far remained voluntary, many food makers, such as General Mills and Campbell, have responded to growing consumer and regulatory concern with reformulation efforts. Jungbunzlauer is also highlighting its erythritol bulk sweetener product at the IFT. Erythritol is a non-caloric bulk sweetener with a sweetness intensity 70 per cent that of sucrose. It is the first polyol to be industrially manufactured by a fermentation process and offers both health and indulgence properties. Jungbunzlauer said that it features a glycaemic index of zero, and a high digestive tolerance. It can work synergistically with high intensity sweeteners to replace sucrose in a wide range of applications.