Applying the triangle taste test to assess differences between low sodium salts and common salt: Evidence from Peru

Lorena Saavedra-Garcia, Antonio Bernabe-Ortiz, Robert H. Gilman, Francisco Diez-Canseco, María Kathia Cárdenas, Katherine A. Sacksteder, J. J.Jaime Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background In resourced-constrained settings, daily cooking practices are still the norm. Replacing sodium in regular salt to produce potassium-enriched salts are potential alternative routes to reduce sodium intake, paired with the benefit associated with potassium intake. This change would likely have effects on palatability and taste of prepared foods, yet a threshold to discriminate sensorial changes can be determined. The main goal of this study was to assess if the use of potassium-enriched salt substitutes lead to perceived differences in taste utilizing a sensory discrimination test. Methods and Results A triangle taste test was conducted and participants were offered samples of cooked rice prepared with different salts. The only ingredient that differed in the preparation was the salt used: 100%NaCl (regular salt) and salts where sodium was replaced by 50%, 33%or 25% KCl (potassium-enriched salt). Comparisons were carried out according to the minimumnumber of correct judgments. A total of 156 subjects, 49%males, mean age 41.0 years (SD ±15.5) years, participated in the study. Samples using 25%potassium-enrichment were indistinguishable in terms of taste from regular salt, whereas samples with 33%and 50%potassium- enrichment were distinguishable. Results were consistent when stratified by sex and age. Less than 10%of participants attributed the differences to bitterness or metallic flavor. Conclusions The 25% potassium-enriched salt is indistinguishable from regular salt. These findings suggest a potential to achieve sodium intake reduction strategies in cooking practices by substituting regular salt with potassium-enriched salt without affecting palatability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0134700
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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