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Researchers find way to make food salty using less salt, study finds

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By: Najja Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Want to maintain your health without compromising tasty foods? A few scientists may have found a solution

Researchers from Washington State University recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of Food Science, to explore ways to make food taste salty with less sodium chloride, which has been tied to poor health.

For their assessment, they examined salt blends that use less sodium chloride, including calcium chloride and potassium chloride. 

According to lead author Carolyn Ross, these salts are not harmful to our health. In fact, potassium chloride, which has a bitter taste, can help reduce blood pressure. 

Once the team determined what blends they would evaluate, they solicited the help of a taste panel who tried a variety of salt combinations, which were used in water and tomato soup.

After analyzing the results, they found using a blend that contained 96.4 percent sodium chloride with 1.6 percent potassium chloride and 2 percent calcium chloride was the “ideal reduction,” the authors said in a statement

They noted they were able to reduce the sodium chloride even more when they only used calcium chloride, but it only received “acceptable rates.” That combination contained 78 percent sodium chloride and 22 percent calcium chloride.

“This combination of the two salts did not significantly differ compared to 100 percent sodium chloride,” Ross said. “But when we added potassium chloride, consumer acceptance decreased.”

Although humans need salt, previous research has shown Americans consume more than necessary. 

The recommended maximum amount people should consume daily is less than 2,300 mg, but the average American adult has between 2,980 and 4,000 mg daily, according to the United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Researchers believe gradual reductions in salt over a period of time can reduce overall salt consumption. 

“Using one of the new blends for a specified time frame,” the team said, “could lead to greater reductions down the road.”

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