Saltiness and Acidity (using vinegar): Detection and Recognition Thresholds and Their Interaction Near the Threshold

June 21, 2009

Saltiness and Acidity (using vinegar): Detection and Recognition Thresholds and Their Interaction Near the Threshold

In the recent issue of the Journal of Food Science (a publication of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)), a study was published titled, “Saltiness and Acidity: Detection and Recognition Thresholds and Their Interaction Near the Threshold.” According to a recent IFT newsletter about the study, it was noted that vinegar may enhance saltiness and enable lower sodium content.

The interaction of saltiness and acidity at the threshold level was studied with 35 to 40 young female panelists. As a first step, the detection and recognition thresholds of salt, rice vinegar and rice black vinegar were measured. Levels were then varied. The researchers found that both the detection and recognition thresholds of salt were decreased with the existence of the added vinegar ingredient. This tendency was more pronounced with rice black vinegar than with rice vinegar. However, no significant changes in the threshold of both detection and recognition were observed when salt at the half concentration of the detection threshold was added to rice vinegar. The researchers noted that was an interesting finding “since this breaks the symmetry of the enhancement/suppression between saltiness and acidity commonly believed.