Clean Label Sodium Reduction [Presentation]

Originally Published: August 4, 2022
Last Updated: August 19, 2022
Sodium Reduction Using Taste Modulation

Clean label taste modulation is a growing field. It involves changing and adjusting basic taste perceptions with plant-based or other ingredients considered clean label by consumers. This presentation begins with a look at sodium reduction using taste modulation, which consists of four mechanisms including surface area alteration. Umami modulation also is accomplished by four different methods of which combining basal and synergistic umami is one example. Kokumi, the enhanced impression of richness and mouthfeel, comes from the potent tripeptide Glutamyl-Valyl-Glycine. The session concludes with Stacking, a clean label salt and MSG reduction strategy that blends these three types of savory ingredients to make foods salty, rich and delicious.

Alex Woo, Ph.D., CEO and Founder, W2O Food Innovation, Clean Label Sodium Reduction 

click to download powerpoint icon

Extract from Summary of this Presentation titled: Sodium Reduction Using Clean Label Salty, Umami and Kokumi Taste Modulation

Neuroscience has made significant advances in understanding how humans perceive taste. For example, “Some 40 taste receptors have been found in the mouth in the past 20 years,” said Woo. Bitterness receptors account for 25 of them. In humans, there also could be fat, calcium and water receptors.

A “starchy” receptor was proposed in 2016. Sweetness, umami and saltiness each have one type of receptor. However, the story is more complex than receptors. A secondary pathway for sweetness perception and another pathway for saltiness that responds to high levels of NaCl and any level of KCl have been discovered.

There are four strategies to reduce sodium, noted Woo. The first is salt substitution with substances less salty than sodium chloride (e.g., potassium chloride [KCl] to replace table salt [NaC]). The second is the increased surface area of NaCl structures, such as the formations of microspheres. The use of umami-tasting ingredients is the third strategy. Fourth, neuroscience (e.g., expectancy constancy) can be utilized.