The impact of NaCl reduction and replacement by CaCl2 : CaCO3 (50:50) on dough and bread characteristics is addressed in this study. Three recipes of white bread were formulated with different percentage of NaCl substitution; all doughs had 1.8 g of total salts added per 100 g flour weight basis. Comparison was performed against control bread containing 1.8 g of NaCl per 100 g flour weight basis. Alveograph and farinograph results indicated that addition of calcium decreased dough extensibility, stretchability and stability time, keeping strong flour characteristics. Calcium salts increased hardness of upper crust and decreased hardness of lower crust. An increase of calcium salts promoted lighter crumb and crust color. Descriptive sensory analysis indicated that 16 out of 25 traits showed significant differences between control and recipes. Principal component analysis using variables such as texture, color and sensory traits indicated that breads produced with 50% NaCl substitution were comparable with the control.
The current interest in promoting a healthy diet encourages the design of foods that prevent diseases and cover specific nutritional requirements. Thus, reduction of salt intake and the fortification with beneficial minerals such as calcium is pertinent, as bread constitutes an important source of salt intake and its calcium contribution is low. The results show that it is possible to maintain the organoleptic characteristics and acceptability of the bread with reduced sodium content and 50% replacement by calcium salts. Estimating bread serving of 50 g, the calcium-fortified bread with 50% sodium reduction could cover 13.5 and 17.6% of the calcium recommended daily intake for schoolchildren and adults with added beneficial effect on health, due to salt reduction. The purposed change in the sodium–calcium content has a dual beneficial effect on the health of the population, prevents problems related to high salt intake and helps to resolve calcium deficiency.