Nav: Home

New technology helps reduce salt, keep flavor

March 03, 2020

Eating too much salt can have significant negative health implications, and modern processed food typically contains high levels of salt to improve taste and preservation.

But new processing technology out of Washington State University called microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) could make it possible to reduce sodium while maintaining safety and tastiness.

In a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, WSU researchers found that the MATS processing, which uses microwave technology to kill any pathogens in food, doesn't reduce the flavor intensity of other ingredients. The current method of food processing preservation, called retort, does reduce flavor intensity.

The study looked at mashed potatoes cooked fresh, using retort, and using MATS. They had tasting panels and used WSU's e-tongue to measure the impact of reducing salt and the intensity of other ingredients, like pepper and garlic.

"The intensity of pepper is the same in MATS and in fresh potatoes, but is reduced in retort processing," said Carolyn Ross, the lead author of this paper. "The heating process of retort, which takes longer to get up to temperature and longer to cool off, changes the texture and flavor of food. MATS is much faster, so it doesn't have nearly as big an impact on those areas."

If flavor intensity of pepper remains high, then not as much salt is required to make the food palatable, or tasty, Ross said.

The researchers, including WSU's Sasha Barnett, Shyam Sablani, and Juming Tang, found that MATS-prepared mashed potatoes could have up to a 50 percent reduction in salt and it was still enjoyed by the tasting panel.

"They could tell it wasn't as salty, but they still liked it because the flavor intensity of other ingredients was higher," said Ross, a professor in WSU's School of Food Science. "Basically, if you can enhance the flavors of herbs, the food still seems salty enough to be enjoyed."

The MATS technology is still relatively new, but Ross thinks it could go a long way to helping reduce the salt used in processed foods.

"We have to make a product that people want to eat," she said. "And there are a lot of older adults that eat prepared meals because of convenience and safety. So if we can reduce salt intake from those foods, and still have pleasant flavors, it could be hugely beneficial."
-end-
The research for this paper was funded in part by a Center of Excellence grant from the USDA to the MATS lab. Ross plans to do more research to find ways to reduce salt in prepared meals. Read more about the Center of Excellence at their website.

Washington State University

Related Salt Articles:

A salt solution toward better bioelectronics
A water-stable dopant enhances and stabilizes the performance of electron-transporting organic electrochemical transistors.
Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.
New technology helps reduce salt, keep flavor
A new processing technology out of Washington State University called microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) could make it possible to reduce sodium while maintaining safety and tastiness.
The salt of the comet
Under the leadership of astrophysicist Kathrin Altwegg, Bernese researchers have found an explanation for why very little nitrogen could previously be accounted for in the nebulous covering of comets: the building block for life predominantly occurs in the form of ammonium salts, the occurrence of which could not previously be measured.
Salt helps proteins move on down the road
Rice chemists match models and experiments to see how salt modifies surface interactions in chromatography used to separate valuable drug proteins.
Mars once had salt lakes similar to Earth
Mars once had salt lakes that are similar to those on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods, according to an international team of scientists that includes a Texas A&M University College of Geosciences researcher.
Marathoners, take your marks...and fluid and salt!
Legend states that after the Greek army defeated the invading Persian forces near the city of Marathon in 490 B.C.E., the courier Pheidippides ran to Athens to report the victory and then immediately dropped dead.
Water solutions without a grain of salt
Monash University researchers have developed technology that can deliver clean water to thousands of communities worldwide.
Solving the salt problem for seismic imaging
Automated imaging of underground salt bodies from seismic data could help streamline oil and gas exploration.
Higher salt intake can cause gastrointestinal bloating
A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that individuals reported more gastrointestinal bloating when they ate a diet high in salt.
More Salt News and Salt Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: IRL Online
Original broadcast date: March 20, 2020. Our online lives are now entirely interwoven with our real lives. But the laws that govern real life don't apply online. This hour, TED speakers explore rules to navigate this vast virtual space.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Falling
There are so many ways to fall–in love, asleep, even flat on your face. This hour, Radiolab dives into stories of great falls.  We jump into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, upend some myths about falling cats, and plunge into our favorite songs about falling. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.