Replacing NaCl

March 18/Tokyo/News of Science -- According to recent research published in the journal Food Science and Technology Research, "Various salts can be substituted for sodium chloride (NaCl) to give food a salty taste. In these experiments, a small percentage of total NaCl was replaced by another salt (KCI, MgCl2, CaCl2)."

"The effects of these various salts on the physical strength and water-retention ability of egg sol/gels were investigated. In addition, the saltiness of diluted egg gels and solid cooked rice seasoned by these salt mixtures was evaluated by a large number of individuals. Substitution of Na by Mg or Ca salt imparted the egg white gels with high breaking stress and strain, and the egg gels showed less water loss by syneresis as compared with gels to which Mg or Ca salt alone had been added," wrote T. Ichikawa and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Furthermore, substitution by K or Mg salt was acceptable by taste in egg solution gel and boiled rice, but when Ca was substituted, it was acceptable by taste only in boiled rice."

Ichikawa and colleagues published their study in Food Science and Technology Research ("Effects of Various Salts Added to Sodium Chloride on the Taste and Properties of Diluted Egg Sol/Gels and Cooked Rice." Food Science and Technology Research, 2010;16(1):31-38).

For additional information, contact T. Ichikawa, Otsuma Womens University, Fac Home Econ, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo 1028357, Japan.

From the March 29, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition