Published online: Apr 07, 2010
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Late in March, at a pilot manufacturing plant in Plano, Texas, PepsiCo Inc. started churning out batches of a secret new ingredient to make its Lay's potato chips healthier.
The ingredient is a new "designer salt" whose crystals are shaped and sized in a way that reduces the amount of sodium consumers ingest when they munch. PepsiCo hopes the powdery salt, which it is still studying and testing with consumers, will cut sodium levels 25 percent in its Lay's Classic potato chips. The new salt could help reduce sodium levels even further in seasoned Lay's chips like Sour Cream & Onion, PepsiCo said, and it could be used in other products like Cheetos and Quaker bars.
The designer salt is one of the latest and most intricate efforts yet by a food company to vault ahead of concerns among government officials about the possible health effects of the widespread use of sodium in processed foods.