Eminate, a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Nottingham, has secured a patent in the USA for the salt-reduction product SODA-LO Salt Microspheres.
SODA-LO is a salt reduction ingredient which is licensed to Tate & Lyle by Eminate. With SODA-LO, food manufacturers can reduce salt levels by 25% to over 50% in various applications without affecting the taste.
The key to the product is the manufacturing process which transforms normal salt crystals into microspheres.
This enables much smaller crystals to be delivered more efficiently, thereby significantly reducing the amount of sodium consumed. Because SODA-LO Salt Microspheres is made from real salt, it has none of the bitter aftertaste associated with some other salt compounds or substitutes.
The patent in the USA covers not only the SODA-LO salt reduction product itself, but also the manufacturing process.
Speaking about the award of the patent, Dr. Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation at the University, said: “The awarding of this patent to produce and market SODA-LO® in the USA is great news for The University of Nottingham. It is an excellent example of how companies can benefit from licensing innovative university technologies."
Neil Davidson, Chairman of Eminate Limited, added: “Salt reduction in food is a vital global health issue. To be awarded the US patent for SODA-LO is a major achievement for Eminate and further reinforces the platform upon which our partner, Tate & Lyle, can continue to grow demand for this unique and innovative product.”
Tate & Lyle licensed SODA-LO Salt Microspheres on an exclusive basis from Eminate in October 2011. Under the license agreement, Tate & Lyle assumes responsibility for commercialising the SODA-LO salt reduction technology on a global basis including manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing.
Tate & Lyle has already developed many applications with SODA-LO Salt Microspheres resulting in significant salt reductions of up to 50%. These include various breads and doughs, plus peanuts, crisps and chips, along with breadings and seasoning blends. Work continues to assess its suitability in a number of other applications.
"The granting of this patent confirms the novelty of SODA-LO and establishes it as a truly innovative salt reduction ingredient,” said Angelique Gunderson, Health and Wellness Platform Commercial Lead at Tate & Lyle.
SODA-LO has been awarded several innovation awards. In September of 2012, it was recognised as one of the most innovative new ingredients at Food Ingredients South America and in November 2012 it was recognised as the "Most Innovative Health Ingredient of the Year" at the Nutrition & Wellness Excellence Awards, which awards individuals and businesses for their exemplary work and contribution to the industry.
SODA-LO Salt Microspheres is patented in the USA and New Zealand. It remains patent pending in other locations including Europe.
For more information about Eminate, visit www.eminate.co.uk