Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Excessive consumption of sodium is associated with high blood pressure in people. Reduction of sodium intake and replacement of salt with salt substitutes are an essential component of the primary prevention of hypertension. Potassium chloride is the most widely used salt substitute. However, when used in large amounts, it imparts bitterness and metallic aftertaste. Therefore, bitterness masking agents need to be used in salt substitute formulations. L-Arginine has been reported to have bitterness masking properties. No research has yet been conducted to investigate the effects of KCl and L-Arginine on the perception of saltiness and bitterness in the mixture of NaCl, KCl, and L-Arginine. To develop acceptable reduced-salt food products, it is critical to understand how consumers perceive about saltiness and bitterness of the salt substitutes, which, will in turn, affect their decisions on product acceptance and purchase intent. The aim of the present study was to develop an acceptable low-sodium salt mixture by reducing the sodium chloride content and replacing it with potassium chloride and L-Arginine. The non-parametric R-Index approach was used to evaluate the effectiveness of L-Arginine as a bitterness masking agent in low sodium formulations. The formulations that contained 55% KCl, 35% NaCl and 10% L-Arginine in an aqueous solution at 0.5% w/v, 1.0% w/v and 1.5% w/v were not significantly different in bitterness perception from the control solution. A response surface methodology was used to optimize and characterize the sensory properties of low sodium formulations in a food system using a chicken broth as a model. Those formulations that contain 57-92% NaCl, 0-35.5% KCl, and 7.5% L-Arginine were as acceptable as the control formulation indicating that L-Arginine was able to mask the bitterness of salt formulations containing KCl. The optimized low sodium formulation was compared to existing commercial products using chicken broth as a model. The optimized product was equally accepted for all sensory attributes by consumers (n=200) compared with Morton Table Salt and Morton Lite Salt. This study demonstrated the potential of using NaCl/KCl/L-Arginine as a low sodium salt mixture by partially replacing NaCl while maintaining desirable sensory characteristics.
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Khachatryan, Armen, "Sensory Characteristics and Optimization of a Low-Sodium Salt Formulation and its Food Application" (2007). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 1406.