Can salt substitutes be used to make pickles for people on a low sodium diet?
Fermented (brined) pickles and sauerkraut cannot safely be made with a salt substitute or reduced amounts of salt since these products depend on salt for proper fermentation and production of acid to occur. Salt substitutes have a tendency to become bitter when heated, so we do not recommend using them in pickled products. Recipes for reduced-sodium sliced dill and sliced sweet pickles, along with a number of other pickled products containing reduced amounts of sodium, are in the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Ag. Information Bulletin No. 539, which can be found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
Caution: The salt used in making fermented and
brined pickle products is vital to safety as well as
texture. Do not attempt to reduce or eliminate salt in
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009