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I love soup, even a thick soup for dinner, yet many soup products have 400 to 1000 mg of sodium in them. Is there a simple chemical procedure any consumer could do to take the sodium out of the product without 'hurting' the flavor?

If one takes some, say, Campbell's soup and heats it to boiling, then freezes it, then heats it again, then freezes it etc., would this extract some sodium?

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  • $\begingroup$ Several brands offer low-sodium versions, but maybe you'd like even less salt that they offer? $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2014 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know how practicable it would be with soup, but size exclusion chromatography or dialysis can used to remove salts (although there would be no selectivity for sodium). $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Jul 24, 2014 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ IF several brands offer low salt versions WHERE do you find them? Shopper's Drug Mart sells a lot of tasty foods in some of their stores but they generally have a salt content over 300 mg. for each product. THEY'RE supposed to be for health I assume. EVEN those Health Check product in Grocery stores have over 400 mg. of salt for one person with one serving. $\endgroup$
    – user128932
    Aug 15, 2014 at 6:08
  • $\begingroup$ The salt is there FOR the flavor. Since most junk food like canned soups contain little if anything, their flavor is mostly coming from taste enhancers like salt and msg. $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Jul 16, 2019 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thats going to be far more complicated than making your own soup. (Which is a far healthier and cheaper time killer than watching TV, so get at it! ;)) $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Dec 1, 2019 at 18:46

1 Answer 1

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Short answer: no, there is no easy (or even moderately hard) procedure, and certainly not boiling and freezing.

The thing is that water dissolves sodium ions better than just about anything else, so almost everything will come out of solution before the sodium does. You're much better off with a product that starts with less salt to begin with.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could some safe substance be added to the soup that absorbs the sodium and doesn't spoil the flavor? $\endgroup$
    – user128932
    Jul 22, 2014 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ I've added a 2nd paragraph to my answer addressing that. Sorry to disappoint you. $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2014 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ @user128932 To elaborate on Levy's answer, sodium very rarely forms any type of solid compound because of its solubility. There's nothing you can do to "absorb" the sodium because elements can't be lost. Your best bet would be to react something with the sodium ions that produces an insoluble solid, and then to physically remove the solid. But that's virtually impossible with sodium. $\endgroup$
    – jeremy
    Jul 23, 2014 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ In truth it is not inconceivable that some day we will have molecular sieves that can preferentially trap sodium ions while rejecting bigger species. You could then add some of these magic beads to your soup, stir for 10 minutes and scoop them out, carrying the salt (assuming the soup is not too thick). I doubt taste would be unaffected, though. Your soup would taste sour since you'd be replacing $\ce{Na^+}$ with, presumably, $\ce{H^+}$; even if most of these got attached to bases you'd still be lowering the pH. In any case I know of no such technology at present. $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2014 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ Great information! It would be nice if more chemists and food chemists could complain to Campbells soup , Knorr soup ,Healthy-choice soup, and a whole lot of other product about the amount of sodium in the product that can't be gotten rid of. Isn't it true if most people cut down their sodium levels from processed food A LOT of money would be saved in healthcare costs? $\endgroup$
    – user128932
    Jul 24, 2014 at 2:18

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