Influence of submicronization of sodium chloride on the sensory characteristics of surface salted cheese crackers
Reducing the particle size of sodium chloride crystal would increase its dissolution rate leading to a more efficient transfer of the ions to the taste buds and hence perhaps a saltier perception of foods. The objective was to evaluate the effect of developed submicro salt on the sensory characteristics of surface salted cheese crackers. The cheese cracker treatments consisted of 3 different salt sizes (regular, micro, submicro salt) and 3 different concentrations (2, 1.5 and 1% w/w). A Balanced Incomplete Block Design was used to conduct the consumer analysis of cheese crackers for submicro salt (2, 1.5 and 1%), microsalt (2, 1.5 and1%) and regular 2% (control as used by industry) using 476 participants in total at week 1 and 4 months. At 4 months, submicro salt treatments (2, 1.5 and 1%) resulted in having significantly (P<0.05) more preferred saltiness scores compared to control (regular 2%). At 4 months, submicro salt (1.5 and 2%) showed significantly (P<0.05) more preferred just-about-right saltiness scores compared to control (regular 2%). The consumers purchase intent increased by 25% for the submicro salt 1.5% after they knew about the 25% reduction in sodium content of the cheese cracker. The reduction of 25 and 50% salt content in cheese cracker through use of submicro particulated salt did not adversely influence sensory color, aroma, crunchiness, overall liking and acceptability scores, which were the same compared to control (regular 2%) and microsalt treatments (2, 1.5 and 1%). Compared to the micro salt, the sub micro salt particle size was reduced 10 times and yet there was no increase in saltiness of crackers with submicro salt. This may be because instead of taking salt directly it was taken as a surface salting on a product containing protein, fat and other biomolecules which, masked the saltiness of the surface salted cheese crackers. Reduction in sodium chloride particle size by 10 fold may increase its surface area but not the saltiness of surface salted cheese crackers.
Keywords: Submicronization, salt, cheese cracker