Sodium chloride, also known as table salt, was once worth more than gold. This seems like a strange thing to hear in today’s world, where the population is told to “watch their salt intake” and to try “low sodium diets.” Processed products seem to scream from the shelves with their advertisements of new and improved low sodium formulas. A limited intake of sodium is recommended due to the correlation of high sodium diets and high blood pressure and hypertension. As a result, non-sodium salts such as potassium sorbate and calcium chloride are gaining popularity in food processing for flavouring and food preservation.
Soup has been a staple food throughout human history. As canning gained popularity in the early to mid-nineteenth century, canneries for various types of foods popped up around the world. It was not long until condensed soups and bouillon cubes made their appearance on store shelves. Condensed soup is made by making soup stock, boiling it down, and then combining it with spices, vegetable paste, fresh vegetables, and flour. The flour thickens the soup as it continues to boil and reduce down. The soup maintains the consistency of a sauce and is poured into cans and sealed. Throughout the process, salt can be added in several forms in order to preserve the soup, flavour the soup, and preserve the texture from factory to table.
A cannery contacted Hanna Instruments curious about what was available for monitoring sodium content in soup. The cannery was planning to expand their line of soups to include heart-healthy, low sodium options. They wanted to verify their claims of sodium reduction from their original recipe. The sales representative learned that the company had a small laboratory on premises where the testing would take place.
Hanna Instruments recommended the HI5222 Research Grade pH/ISE/ORP Meter with CAL Check with the FC300B Sodium Combination Ion Selective Electrode. The customer appreciated that the FC300B Sodium ISE was specific to the sodium ion, and for their samples was not subject to interference from other salts. The HI5222 features a five-point calibration, automatic data logging, and in-depth GLP data for the user. Having two channels on the meter was appealing to customer as this enabled them to have a dedicated channel for a pH electrode and a dedicated channel for the sodium ISE. This allowed them to view both parameters on the display and seamlessly switch between pH and sodium content measurements without having to disconnect and recalibrate the probes.
The customer appreciated that the meter could log up to 100,000 data points per channel and that the data could easily be transferred to a PC with a USB cable and the HI92000 software. This would enable them to test many samples throughout the day and to download and report their files in bulk. A feature that was also appreciated by the customer was the contextual help available through the dedicated “HELP” key, as different people on each shift would be taking measurements. If the user presses the “HELP” key, the meter displays a tutorial specific to the measurement stage that the user is performing. Overall, the cannery was very pleased with the comprehensive solution provided by the HI5222 and FC300B for their sodium testing needs.