CE21 - Alimentation et systèmes alimentaires

Optimising the use of discretionary salt – SalEtMieux

Sal&Mieux - Optimizing the use of discretionary salt

Reducing sodium intake has been identified as an efficient lever to prevent noncommunicable diseases. Key sources of sodium include manufactured food products but also discretionary salt, namely salt added by consumers during the preparation and cooking of meals and at the table when seasoning. However, discretionary salt has been largely neglected so far, in spite of the fact that it deserves to be considered to pursue the sodium intake reduction.

Sal&Mieux - Objectives

The Sal&Mieux collaborative project gathers the expertise of 5 academic partners with the aim to evaluate and to enhance the sensory availability and perception of discretionary salt, as a function of actual consumers’ salting practices during food cooking and seasoning, in order to provide stakeholders with operational guidelines on how to optimize discretionary salt use and thus to contribute to step down dietary sodium intake. Overall, the Sal&Mieux research project seeks to help the consumers to reduce its sodium intake by telling them not just to decrease discretionary salt consumption, as it is currently the case in awareness mass-media campaigns, but rather how to use discretionary salt efficiently, namely in a way that reconciles both its taste preferences and health needs.

Sal&Mieux is both innovative and ambitious since it relies on a transdisciplinary and systemic approach of the place of discretionary salt in everyday food, namely from the food product point of view and from the consumers’ practices point of view. The project tackles four main research questions among which the first aims to evaluate the consumers’ knowledge and practices in terms of discretionary salt through an ethnographic approach. The second question focuses on the physico-chemical interactions between salt and different types of food as a function of a variety of home cooking and salting practices. The objective is to understand if discretionary salt added is available for the taste receptors in the mouth and thus to what extend it participates to salty taste. The perception of salt is precisely at the core of the third question. Indeed, we aim to identify the preparation and seasoning conditions that lead to use the just about right quantity of salt for it to be optimally perceived and thus contribute to the sustainable food liking while limiting salt use. Finally, in the fourth question, we will test innovative and positive messages to propose advices and knacks to consumers so that they can adopt the best salting practices identified and scientifically proven within the project framework.

The first results are in the process of being acquired.

At this stage of the project, experiments are in progress.

Endaltseva A., Dupuy A., 2021, “Salty encounters: How to study ‘good relations’ with salt? Food for Care Panel, 4S, Society for Social Studies of Sciences, Toronto-Canada.
Leroy, C., Bonny, JM., Thomas-Danguin, T., Clerjon, S. (2021). The distribution of sodium within cooked food and sodium interactions with the matrix depends on both food matrices and salting practices. 16ème édition du Weurman Flavour Research Symposium, virtual, 3-7 mai 2021.
Leroy, C., Bonny, JM., Thomas Danguin, T., Clerjon, S. (2021). Correction des hétérogénéités de champ RF b1+ pour l’optimisation de l’IRM quantitative du sodium dans des aliments réels. Conférence du GERM, Virtual, 6-9 avril 2021.
Badau, E. et Hugol-Gential, C. (2021). « Réduire sa consommation de sel, une perspective engageante : le cas Fleury Michon ». Les savoirs alimentaires à l'aune des Sciences de l'Information et communication. In Clémentine Hugol-Gential, Estera Badau, Anne Parizot, David Michon (Eds). Dijon : Editions Universitaires de Dijon

Reducing sodium intake has been identified as an efficient lever to prevent noncommunicable diseases. However, the average dietary sodium intake is still twice the level recommended by health organizations worldwide. Key sources of sodium include manufactured food products but also discretionary salt, namely salt added by consumers during the preparation and cooking of meals and at the table when seasoning. According to several studies, this last source of sodium may contribute for up to 30 % of sodium intake. However, discretionary salt has been largely neglected so far, in spite of the fact that it deserves to be considered to pursue the sodium intake reduction. The Sal&Mieux collaborative project gathers the expertise of 5 academic partners with the aim to evaluate and to enhance the sensory availability and perception of discretionary salt, as a function of actual consumers’ salting practices during food cooking and seasoning, in order to provide stakeholders with operational guidelines on how to optimize discretionary salt use and thus to contribute to step down dietary sodium intake. Sal&Mieux is both innovative and ambitious since it relies on a transdisciplinary and systemic approach of the place of discretionary salt in everyday food, namely from the food product point of view and from the consumers’ practices point of view. The project tackles four main research questions among which the first aims to evaluate the consumers’ knowledge and practices in terms of discretionary salt through an ethnographic approach. The second question focuses on the physico-chemical interactions between salt and different types of food as a function of a variety of home cooking and salting practices. The objective is to understand if discretionary salt added is available for the taste receptors in the mouth and thus to what extend it participates to salty taste. The perception of salt is precisely at the core of the third question. Indeed, we aim to identify the preparation and seasoning conditions that lead to use the just about right quantity of salt for it to be optimally perceived and thus contribute to the sustainable food liking while limiting salt use. Finally, in the fourth question, we will test innovative and positive messages to propose advices and knacks to consumers so that they can adopt the best salting practices identified and scientifically proven within the project framework. Overall, the Sal&Mieux research project seeks to help the consumers to reduce its sodium intake by telling them not just to decrease discretionary salt consumption, as it is currently the case in awareness mass-media campaigns, but rather how to use discretionary salt efficiently, namely in a way that reconciles both its taste preferences and health needs.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Thierry Thomas-Danguin (CENTRE DES SCIENCES DU GOUT ET DE L'ALIMENTATION - UMR 6265 - UMR A1324 - uB 80)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

GENIAL Ingénierie Procédés Aliments
C.E.R.T.O.P CENTRE D'ETUDE ET DE RECHERCHE TRAVAIL, ORGANISATION, POUVOIR
CSGA CENTRE DES SCIENCES DU GOUT ET DE L'ALIMENTATION - UMR 6265 - UMR A1324 - uB 80
QuaPA Qualité des Produits Animaux
CIMEOS LABORATOIRE COMMUNICATIONS, MÉDIATIONS, ORGANISATIONS, SAVOIRS - EA 4177
CIMEOS LABORATOIRE COMMUNICATIONS, MÉDIATIONS, ORGANISATIONS, SAVOIRS - EA 4177

Help of the ANR 601,684 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2019 - 48 Months

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