Making the food taste better without excessive sodium content: Scientists come up with a healthier substitute to regular salt

siliconreview Making the food taste better without excessive sodium content: Scientists come up with a healthier substitute to regular salt

Consuming food with excess salt content is considered a health hazard as it can cause several health issues like bad heart health, high blood pressure, weight gain, etc. This is why many doctors and health experts warn about the repercussion of too much salt intake and ask to stay away from salty food and snacks as much as possible. Many people have started to prefer low-sodium diet to keep blood pressure and harmful weight at bay. However, they have to compromise on the taste as salt playsa major role in enhancing the food’s flavor.

Researchers at Washington State University have found a way to solve this problem by finding a healthier substitute forregular salt that the consumers use. Their idea is to make meals taste salty without adding too much sodium. The salt mixture prepared by them doesn’t have much sodium chloride as is present in the regular table salt. Researchers tried to prepare various salt mixtures using a different percentage of NaCl and other chemical compounds including potassium chloride (KCl) and calcium chloride (CaCl2). "It's a stealth approach, not like buying the 'reduced salt' options, which people generally don't like,” said one of the researchers.

Calcium and potassium are not harmful to our health and in fact, considered important micro-nutrients. While it is necessary for our body, these minerals don’t really taste good. Hence, researchers had to be very cautious of the percentage of KCl and CaCl2 they were adding. They even designed an electronic tongue to check the ideal mixture pleasant to the taste buds. The final conclusion regarding the ideal mixture was using 96.4% NaCl, 1.6% KCl, and 2% CaCl2. Also, a combination of 78% NaCl and 22% CaCl2 was found to be acceptable. 

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