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Quality of dough and bread prepared with sea salt or sodium chloride

High sodium intake is a major health concern. However, elimination or replacement of sodium has considerable effects on the organoleptic and functional properties of bakery products. Salt is a key ingredient in bread baking and these implications must be taken into consideration when reformulating for sodium reduction. 
Researchers from North Dakota State University (USA) have evaluated the functional effects of a low-sodium sea salt for use in bread. The study was published on Journal of Food Process Engineering. 39, (1): 44-52, 2016.
Bread is commonly prepared with salt and, currently, high sodium intake is being regulated because of its negative health effects. Hence, low-sodium sea salt was investigated as a sodium reduction strategy for bread formulation. Various levels of sodium chloride (NaCl) and sea salt were used in a bread formulation. NaCl reduced water absorption of the dough as compared with sea salt.
Resistance to extension decreased with the use of sea salt; however, extensibility was higher when compared with bread prepared with NaCl. Loaf volume decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in bread with NaCl. Also, crust color became darker with the increase of sea salt, most likely because of the presence of metal ions (potassium and magnesium) in sea salt. Free sugar content in whole bread, crumb and crust portions were significantly lower (P< 0.05) in breads prepared with sea salt than those prepared with NaCl.
Overall, sea salt did not affect bread-making quality, but bread with 0.5% sea salt presented the best quality parameters. These results encourage us to investigate the effects of potassium and magnesium present in sea salt on the structure of gluten proteins, starch behavior and development of color through Maillard reactions.

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