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Sodium In Foods Can Be Decreased A Lot With Only A Small Drop In Consumer Satisfaction

December 8, 2010: 04:14 AM EST

An Australian study has found that salt taste sensitivity has little to do with whether a person enjoys or eats salty or reduced salt foods. But where the person eats the salty food can make a big difference. Researchers tested the consumption of hash browns in a lab and in a typical dining room setting, varying the salt levels for different meals from 40 mg up to 220 mg sodium/100 g. In the lab, participants preferred the saltiest hash browns. But in the dining room, participants ate the hash browns with half the sodium “with only minor decrease in liking and no effect on consumption of the food.” The researchers said the food industry could probably use their findings as they attempt to cut sodium levels in processed food.

Lisa Lucas, et al., "The Influence of Sodium on Liking and Consumption of Salty Food", Journal of Food Science, December 08, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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