Juiciness enhances salt perception in meat products

By altering the juiciness of meat products, salt reductions of up to 40% are possible without changing salt perception.

Salt perception

By influencing the juiciness of processed meat products, a salt reduction of at least 15% up to possibly 40% can be achieved while retaining the same salt perception.


NIZO, in the frame work of the Top Institute Food and Nutrition, has tested this in sausages that varied in salt level and serum release but not in firmness. Meat products are in the top three of product categories that contribute to the high salt intake in the modern western diet. By changing the structure, but not the firmness, of sausages, the amount of serum that can be released could be modulated.  A trained QDA (Quantitative Descriptive Analysis) panel rated the saltiness, firmness and juiciness of sausages with a low and high serum release at three salt levels.


The sensorial scores for saltiness showed that sausages with a high serum release were perceived significantly saltier and more juicy that those with little serum release. The perceived juiciness is the result of the amount of serum that is pushed out of the meat matrix while chewing and the ability of the tissue to bind water, which is affected by the salt content.