2005 Volume 59 Issue 4 Pages 262-266
A multichannel taste sensor comprising different kinds of lipid/polymer membranes as the receptor part of chemical substances can quantify the taste of foodstuffs. In this study, the taste sensor was applied to saltiness of salt. Although many kinds of salts have come on the market, there are few systematic studies about the saltiness. Salt manufacture by an ion-exchange membrane process produces more than 99% pure NaCl, while bay salt produced by a salt drying process contains rich minerals (bittern called “nigari” in Japanese) such as CaSO4, MgSO4, MgCl2 and KCl. It is difficult to evaluate quantitatively how the minerals affect the salt taste.
We examined the saltiness of a mixed solution of sodium chloride, which contains minerals, and salts on the market using the taste sensor. As a result, a taste map, which is composed of two dimensions, was obtained. Although human sensory evaluations were also made, there was no significant difference among the taste of salts on the market. It means that we can evaluate and control the taste of salts using the taste sensor, because it is possible to detect a slight difference of taste, which is difficult for humans.