Why are potassium and sodium so important for a balanced nutritional intake?

Oliver Riemann: Sodium chloride is a vital nutrient and is essential for many bodily functions; however, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the average daily salt consumption in the Western world to be far too high. Furthermore, the insufficient intake of potassium in large areas of the world is an important issue. WHO recommends increasing the supply of potassium through daily ingestion; on average, people consume twice the recommended level of sodium, but half the sufficient level of potassium. Salt reduction is not a question of which mineral is better or worse, it is a question of helping consumers balance their mineral nutrition to stay healthy.

Why should people monitor potassium intake?

Many people suffer from a potassium deficiency without knowing it. The symptoms of tiredness, exhaustion, muscle weakness, constipation or cardiac arrhythmia are rarely recognised. An insufficient intake of potassium as part of daily nutrition, combined with diarrhoea, chronic kidney or colon disease, magnesium deficiency, or the excessive loss of bodily fluids or acidosis, can cause potassium deficiency. As organisms cannot generate their own potassium, dietary intake is absolutely essential and it is therefore important that consumers take care of their nutrition.

We don’t have enough time between the daily stresses of life to pay attention to having a balanced diet. Instead, we grasp fast food and, as a result, consumers are increasingly consuming processed foods. Ingredient lists or additives only play a minor role for consumers or are largely ignored. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to monitor your nutrition. Hence, it is the responsibility – and also a big chance – for the industry to provide consumers with a positive nutritional balance in the long term in the form of good-tasting dishes. Having such healthy, convenient food in their portfolio provides great differentiation for companies in a competitive market.

Can you give more information on KaliSel, and what makes it a good complement to salt?

K+S KALI is not only the manufacturer of highly purified potassium chloride, but also one of the major salt producers in the world. Therefore, we see it is our responsibility as ‘mineral experts’ to offer a solution that means salt can be consumed, but without having a guilty conscience.

With KaliSel, K+S KALI wants to provide the industry and the consumer with a way to reduce sodium chloride responsibly without having to accept a loss of flavour, while optimising the supply of minerals with the addition of potassium. KaliSel can replace up to 30% of the sodium chloride in certain foods, while balancing your nutrition with potassium at the same time.

How does K+S KALI extract the minerals that comprise KaliSel?

KaliSel is made in Germany and is completely natural, in that it is derived from the underground crude salt deposits that have been protected from environmental influences and contamination for more than 200 million years. From there, this extraordinary crude salt is processed into high-purity salts – a procedure that involves highly complex crystallisation and purification processes. The production takes place exclusively in secured and closed areas. As a result, the salts are effectively protected from all possible environmental influences during the manufacturing process and packaging. At K+S KALI’s own laboratories, the purity and ingredients are continuously analysed and tested.

What certifications do K+S KALI’s products have?

With the highest-quality relevant certifications, and being ‘made in Germany’, the company meets the highest demands, in terms of quality and safety, on an international level. The SGS Institut Fresenius in Germany audits the KaliSel product in accordance with the International Featured Standards, and the KaliSel production plant is DIN EN ISO 9001 ff-certified. Hygiene requirements are fulfilled using the hazard analysis and critical control point system, and it meets kosher and halal requirements.

How do the company’s products aid food production?

Obviously, the main functions of KaliSel are nutrition and taste; however, KaliSel not only represents an alternative to salt, but is also ideal for potassium enrichment in the production of various foods. KaliSel can also be used as a processing agent or additive; for example, it is used for carrageenan production and contributes to the better curing of some gels.