London: Certain odours can make the food seem saltier than it is and could help cut down salt consumption which, if not controlled, is a risk factor in heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
It is possible to reduce the salt intake by more than a fourth by increasing the intensity of certain odours, say researchers. They have identified 14 different smells that can enhance the saltiness of food without addition of salt.
Thierry Thomas-Danguin, research fellow at the Centre for Science of Taste and Food, University of Burgundy, France, who led the study, said: "In our study we observed an enhancement of salty taste induced by sardine odour but not with carrot odour."
Many packaged or fast food meals have high levels of salt added to them to improve flavour and make them more attractive to consumers, the Telegraph reports.
The Food Standard`s Agency estimates that cutting salt intake to six gram per day could prevent around 20,000 premature deaths a year. Currently the average British adult eats 8.6 gram of salt a day.