Salt Fix

Salt free potato chip? No thanks!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Salt is in almost all foods, from soup to nuts! But too much causes high blood pressure. So how can we reduce salt intake without sacrificing taste?

Healthier salts! Which have potassium or calcium instead of sodium, but also make food bitter! Getting proportions right for each recipe is important – but how to do this quickly and cost-effectively?

Carolyn Ross from Washington State University thinks an electronic tongue could help. It has sensors similar to taste buds. When dunked in liquified food they record the different flavors they perceive

But can it capture the flavors humans experience? To find out, Ross asked humans and the electronic tongue to rank flavors of tomato soups with various salt mixes.

Amazingly, the human and robotic tongues perceived taste in a similar manner! The e-tongue could help reduce sodium intake by optimizing recipes with healthier salts all day long. As opposed to humans who need to sleep. This will spare our human tongues — and blood pressure — in the process!

Maybe guilt free potato chips aren’t so far off! I’ll still need ranch dip.