There is strong evidence for the link between high dietary sodium and increased risk of cardiovascular disease which drives the need to reduce salt content in foods. In this study, herb and spice blends were used to enhance consumer acceptability of a low salt tomato soup (0.26% w/w). Subjects (n = 148) scored their liking of tomato soup samples over 5 consecutive days. The first and last days were pre-and post-exposure visits where all participants rated three tomato soup samples; standard, low salt and low salt with added herbs and spices. The middle 3 days were the repeated exposure phase where participants were divided into three balanced groups; consuming the standard soup, the low salt soup, or the low salt soup with added herbs and spices. Reducing salt in the tomato soup led to a significant decline in consumer acceptability, and incorporating herbs and spices did not lead to an immediate enhancement in liking. However, inclusion of herbs and spices enhanced the perception of the salty taste of the low salt soup to the same level as the standard. Repeated exposure to the herbs and spice-modified soup led to a significant increase in the overall liking and liking of flavour, texture and aftertaste of the soup, whereas no changes in liking were observed for the standard and low salt tomato soups over repeated exposure. Moreover, a positive trend in increasing the post-exposure liking of the herbs and spices soup was observed. The findings suggest that the use of herbs and spices is a useful approach to reduce salt content in foods; however, herbs and spices should be chosen carefully to complement the food as large contrasts in flavour can polarise consumer liking. © 2014 The Author.
Ghawi, S. K., Rowland, I., & Methven, L. (2014). Enhancing consumer liking of low salt tomato soup over repeated exposure by herb and spice seasonings. Appetite, 81, 20–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.05.029