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Salt Reduction in Foods Using Naturally Brewed Soy SauceSalt Reduction in Foods Using Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce

February 15, 2012

3 Min Read
Salt Reduction in Foods Using Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce

Linked to adverse health conditions ranging from hypertension to cardiovascular disease, sodium is on the "D list" of health professionals worldwide. In early 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) advised Americans to lower their sodium consumption to less than 1,500 mg per day, and noted current consumption is more than double that number. Further, AHA determined that some 77% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foodsa call to the industry to take action.

But reducing sodium in food formulations is easier said than done because it actively and significantly impacts both product functionality and appeal. Soy sauce is emerging as a potential solution to reducing sodium, while maintaining flavor and sensory appeal.

While the first form of soy sauce was created nearly 2,500 years ago, the soy sauce we know todaymade from fermented wheat and soybeans, water, and salt evolved from a creation by Buddhist monks in the 6th century. But more recently, scientists affiliated with Wageningen University and Research Centre for Innovative Consumer Studies, and Kikkoman Europe R&D Laboratory B.V., both in The Netherlands, investigated the efficacy of using naturally brewed soy sauce as a sodium-chloride replacement in reduced-salt formulations.

To investigate the potential of naturally brewed soy sauce as a substitute for salt, the researchers designed a two-phase experiment that focused on three examples of standard Western-style foods: salad dressing, tomato soup and pan-fried pork strips.

In the first phase of the experiment, tasters compared full-salt versions of the food with alternatives that contained varying concentrations of soy sauce in place of salt. The researchers then determined the soy sauce concentration at which taste intensity did not differ significantly from that of the salt-containing standard.

The second phase, conducted within one week of the first, established an optimal exchange rate (OER) at which no significant decrease in either overall taste intensity or degree of liking arose when sodium chloride was replaced with soy sauce. Results showed soy sauce enabled sodium-chloride reductions of 50%, 17% and 29% in the salad dressing, tomato soup and pan-fried pork strips, respectively, without significant losses in overall taste intensity or product pleasantness.

The studys authors credit soy sauces naturally occurring umami tastantsincluding glutamic acid and 5' nucleotidesas partly responsible for maintaining the salt-reduced formulas taste intensity and pleasantness. Further, the authors point to odor-induced saltiness enhancement, or OISE, a phenomenon in which salty-congruent odors appear to compensate for lower levels of sodium chloride in a formulation.

The study should bolster the hopes of any product developer looking for a cost-effective sodium chloride substitute that not only maintains taste intensity and appeal, but has broad application across many categories.

Kikkoman offers a variety of reduced-sodium solutions, like Kikkoman Less Sodium PTN (Premium Total Nitrogen) Soy Sauce, a tamari-style soy sauce with high impact flavor, and Kikkoman Natural Flavor Enhancer (NFE), a neutral color/savory flavor booster with umami characteristics. For samples, contact Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.

Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.

50 California St., Ste. 3600

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415/229-3605

Web: kikkomanusa.com/foodmanufacturers

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