Fermentation for reformulation: CJ CheilJedang expands reduced-sodium sauces and packaged soup portfolio

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Haechandle has launched a new condiment that contains 25% less sodium than its original version. ©CJ CheilJedang
Haechandle has launched a new condiment that contains 25% less sodium than its original version. ©CJ CheilJedang

Related tags CJ CheilJedang South korea reduced sodium condiments

South Korean food major CJ CheilJedang has used new fermentation technology to consecutively launch products with reduced sodium content in response to growing consumer demand for “less burdensome” options.

This series of products include ready-to-heat packaged soup, as well as gochujang​ (red chilli paste) and soybean paste, popular condiments used in Korean dishes.

The latest addition to the line-up of Haechandle, CJ CheilJedang’s key sauce brand, is Haechandle 100% Taeyangcho Woori Rice Gochujang.

It is said to contain 25% less sodium than the original 100% Taeyangcho Gochujang while retaining the tangy, spicy flavour.

“There is a growing trend of consumers looking for reduced-sodium products for health reasons, but there is a perception that the taste of sauces would deteriorate if sodium was reduced,” ​the firm said.

To address this concern, CJ CheilJedang applied its unique New Fermentation Tech (NFT) fermentation method to achieve the taste quality of regular red chilli paste and lower sodium content at the same time.

“In general, if you reduce the salinity when making gochujang, the soybean flavour decreases and various bacteria proliferate during the ripening process, making it difficult to maintain consistent fermentation quality.

“The NFT method ferments raw materials such as rice and onions simultaneously, to preserve the natural savoury taste of red chilli paste even at relatively low salinity.”

The firm is anticipating good responses from consumers for the new product, on the back of “favourable reviews” received for its Haechandle Woori Glutinous Rice Taeyangcho Gochujang launched last November, which is made using the same method.

“Some of the comments included ‘There is no difference in taste between normal gochujang and the reduced-sodium version’, ‘It is less burdensome to consume due to less sodium’, and ‘I want to buy it regularly because it is both delicious and healthy’.

“In line with the health-focused trend, we have introduced sauces and soups, which are the basis of cooking, with reduced sodium. Through these products, we are providing consumers with more better-for-you options available across all major supermarkets and online. We will continue to expand [the line-up] and lead the ‘wellness sauces’ category.”

Less sodium, more flavour

In January, CJ CheilJedang released Haechandle Reduced Sodium Homemade Soybean Paste and Bibigo Low Sodium Beef Bone Soup.

In particular, the ready-made soup has a sodium content of 500mg per bag (500g), which is about 50% lower than the existing Bibigo Beef Bone Soup.

On the other hand, the content of beef bone concentrate was increased by 15% to 1.95%.

Additionally, Andean salt and Korean native (hanwoo​) beef bone extract were added to enhance the deep and rich flavour of the broth.

According to the firm, beef bone soup is widely used as a base for Korean dishes, such as rice cake dumpling soup, dried pollack soup, and yellow pollack soup.

“Due to the high consumption of this soup base, Bibigo Low Sodium Beef Bone Soup is receiving positive responses from consumers who want to enjoy soup dishes with low sodium.”

Healthier Product Innovation will be a major topic of focus at Growth Asia Summit 2024 – join us in Singapore to learn about market opportunities and glean insights from major industry experts. Find out more here

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