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Reducing Salt Content In Food Not Likely To Please “Supertasters”

June 16, 2010: 01:08 PM EST
As efforts to reduce unhealthy levels of sodium in processed foods gather momentum in the U.S. and around the globe, scientists at Pennsylvania State University have offered an explanation as to why foods with lower salt content are harder to like for some people than others. The research involved 87 men and women who sampled salty foods such as broth, chips and pretzels over several weeks and rated the intensity of taste. The researchers found that some individuals eat more salt because they like the taste, and also because it blocks other unpleasant tastes, such as bitterness. Salt lovers are classed as “supertasters:” they experience flavors more intensely and are more likely to consume salt than nontasters. The phenomenon seems to be rooted in genetics, the researchers said.
John Hayes, Valerie Duffy, Bridget S. Sullivan, "Explaining variability in sodium intake through oral sensory phenotype, salt sensation and liking", Physiology & Behavior, June 16, 2010, © Elsevier Inc.
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