Electroencephalography and acceptance test to assess sodium reduction in tomato sauce: an exploratory research
The association of excessive salt consumption with development of noncommunicable diseases has created initiatives for the reformulation of processed foods aiming to reduce the salt content. A neurophysiological and sensory approach provides valuable information to ensure that a reformulated product retains its acceptability to consumers. This study evaluated consumer perception during the ingestion of tomato sauce which was low in sodium by using an electroencephalogram and hedonic acceptance scale. Monosodium glutamate promoted a large increase in cortical activity and also generated a higher rate of acceptance. Disodium inosinate also promoted increased electrical activity and had a similar acceptance to sodium chloride. The sample containing potassium chloride without flavor enhancer was the one that generated the least electrical activity and acceptance. The addition of flavor enhancers — umami taste promoters — masks the sensory defects of KCl and this effect seems to be related to increased electrical activity in brain regions related to taste and reward/pleasure.