Texture-taste interactions: Enhancement of taste intensity by structural modifications of the food matrix

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic


The reduction of salt and sugar in food products remains a challenge due to the importance of those ingredients in providing a highly desired taste quality, enhancing flavor, determining the behavior of structuring ingredients, and ensuring microbiological safety. Several technologies have been used to reduce salt and sugar content in foods such as replacement of sugar by sweeteners, replacement of sodium salts by blends of other salts, taste enhancement by aromas and taste boosters or gradual reduction of sugar and salt in small steps over time. In this study we present two alternative approaches to enhance taste perception. First, the use of an inhomogeneous spatial distribution of sugar in food gels is introduced as a way to enhance sweetness perception [1]. The translation of the concept of taste contrast to bread applications is discussed which allows to reduce salt content in bread by 25% without loss of saltiness intensity and without addition of taste enhancers, aromas or salt replacers [2]. Secondly, it is demonstrated how the serum release under compression of mixed polysaccharide/protein gels can be engineered to enhance sweetness perception. An increase of serum release by 5x allowed to reduce sugar content of gels by 30% while maintaining sweet taste intensity [3]. The translation of this concept to low salt sausages is discussed. Sausages were engineered to exhibit enhanced juiciness which lead to a boost of saltiness allowing for up to 40% salt reduction [4]. These approaches can be used to further optimize the development of products with reduced salt and sugar content while maintaining taste intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
JournalProcedia Food Science
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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