Reducing salt in crisps, yet keeping it tasty

Reducing salt in crisps, yet keeping it tasty

Healthy treat

Food scientists have found a way of reducing salt content in crisps without compromising taste.

Ian Fisk, lecturer of food sciences at the University of Nottingham, said: “The ‘salt burst’ from crisps is only released into the mouth 20 seconds after chewing begins.”

This means that in many cases the crisp may have already been swallowed before the majority of the salty taste is detected, the journal Food & Function reports.

“Our aim is to develop a series of technologies that accelerate the delivery of salt to the tongue by moving the burst from 20 seconds to within the time that you normally chew and swallow,” added Fisk, according to a Nottingham statement.

This would mean that less salt would be needed to get the same amount of taste. Excess salt in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organisation’s recommendation for daily salt intake is just five grams.

Many of us have twice this amount. The reduction of salt intake is now a major challenge for health authorities and the food industry. Salt isn’t just a flavour enhancer. Historically it has been added to enhance shelf life, improve functionality and control fermentation.

Common foods, including bread, meat products, breakfast cereals, cheese and popular snacks, are among major dietary contributors to our salt intake. There is now a clear need for the food industry to find ways of preserving these attributes while maintaining the consumer experience.