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Geplaatst op 05 juni 2003 - 12:25

Zout wordt vaak een smaakversterker genoemd. Het klinkt nogal logisch: Is het te flauw, doe er dan wat zout bij.

Maar hoe werkt dat precies? Wat is het in zout dat het de smaak van iets anders verandert?!

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic

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Geplaatst op 21 juni 2003 - 21:23

Shaking up the flavor
 Using salt as a flavor enhancer is probably one of its most popular functions. Scientific studies have proved that humans and other mammals exhibit a natural craving for salt.
 "Salt has two major roles in flavoring foods; it adds saltiness and enhances flavors," notes Gary Beauchamp, Ph.D., of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA. "Additionally, it suppresses other taste responses such as sweet, sour and bitter."

 Besides the salty or saline taste that sodium chloride produces, expert panels have reported that low levels of salt in solution also give a sensation of sweetness. Several theories have been proposed. One speculates that the arrangement of water molecules around a sodium ion triggers the sweetness response in sweet receptor cells.

 Another explanation comes from Michael O'Mahoney, Ph.D. University of California-Davis. "Taste may go beyond the basic senses of sweet, salty, etcetera. We must extend our notion of what is meant by these terms. At a certain concentration salt in water tastes sweet. We might perceive a flavor, but don't have the nomenclature for it. So when we describe the sensation, we call it sweet."

 Because salt affects the way we perceive other tastes it often can be added to food products to balance the flavor. Some studies report that salt can increase sweetness, and others report a decrease in sweetness. The result seems to be both product- and level-dependent.

 "A small amount of salt added to icings keeps the sweet taste from becoming too cloying," observes Cargill's Niman. "Salt can be added to soft drinks in small amounts to potentiate flavors and cut sweetness, especially in artificially sweetened products."

 A study conducted in 1984 by Marianne Gillette of McCormick & Company, Inc., Hunt Valley MD, tested the effect of salt in a number of products. She concluded that the addition of salt affects the overall flavor of the products in five areas:

Mouthfeel. Salted products were perceived as thicker or less watery.
Sweetness. Adding salt enhanced the sweetness, in some cases to a higher degree than the increase in saltiness.
Metallic or chemical off-notes. Salt often decreased or masked these flavors.
Flavor balance. Salt rounded out the balance, blended flavors together and increased the perception of flavor intensity.
Saltiness. The increase in the perception of saltiness depended on the level used and the product.
 Salt added to foods like crackers and pretzels helps cut the pastiness and dryness they generate in the mouth. Some foods are traditionally salty. Many processed meats contain significant levels of salt as a preservative, but since the consumer has grown accustomed to the flavor and expects it, it is not ordinarily deemed excessive.
 But you can get too much of a good thing. "In the case of a product like a dressing or butter, you have a high concentration of salt in the aqueous phase," notes Morton's Strietelmeier. "That changes the aromatic intensity of flavors because you have in effect reduced the vapor pressure of that solution. That will be true of other solutes as well.

 Along with the effect of the inter-relationship between the four tastes, the ingredients used can play an important role in how the salt is perceived. Fat can increase the duration of the sensation. Also, a recent study by Barbara Klein, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois, indicates that ionic gums, such as xanthan, suppress the flavor of salt.

 "We initially thought that the viscosity of the gum solution affected the saltiness of the sample," Klein relates. "But it appears that the sodium binds tonically to charged gum molecules. This flattens the taste curve."

 The size and shape of the salt particle also affect the flavor. The faster the salt goes into solution, the quicker the flavor is perceived. The longer it takes to dissolve, the longer the duration of the salty flavor. This is one reason the type of salt can be critical in topical applications.

 "The solubility aspect is one consideration for a topical application," points out Akzo's Dommer. "Faster solubility means an upfront hit that brings out other flavors associated with the product. A lingering salt taste tends to be associated with a bitter taste."

 "Not only does the large particle of a typical pretzel salt give you a slow dissolving rate, but also a tactile sensation you may not notice in the fine grains," says Strietelmeier. "You also have a very concentrated brine on the surface of that particle. The taste buds are sensing something that's often described as harshness."

 From a flavor standpoint, the most suitable salt level depends on a number of factors. Besides the effect of other ingredients and the type of product, the consumers themselves can determine the acceptable level. Different ethnic and regional preferences exist. As people grow older, they lose their taste and flavor acuity and products may require higher salt levels to be appealing. On the other hand, those who have lowered their sodium, and therefore salt, intake often find normal levels of saltiness excessive


het is niet echt duidelijk wat het nu precies doet. Ik ga het ook eens aan een paar mensen vragen en als ik iets vind laat ik het je weten
"My foot is fine, the chair died, but I don't think it suffered."

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