Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



This study was conducted to develop a sodium-free salt substitute and assess its sensory characteristics. The efficacy of bitterness-masking agents, adenosine-5’-monophosphate (AMP) and L-arginine (Arg), were studied. However, the effectiveness of AMP in inhibiting bitterness of potassium chloride (KCl) was specifically investigated. The threshold values of KCl with and without AMP were determined using the method of limits and the signal detection method. AMP effectively decreased the bitterness imparted by KCl at a ratio of KCl to AMP of 15:1 when the method of limits was utilized. To enhance saltiness and inhibit bitterness, Arg was added to KCl/AMP solutions. The optimal ratio of Arg in KCl/AMP at 0.3% was determined using a ranking test. Two methods of data analysis, the Friedman’s and the R-index ranking tests, provided similar results. The ratio of KCl/Arg/AMP of 15:2:1 was the best proportion among the salt mixtures containing Arg. This proportion was selected to study its sensory characteristics. Using the Spectrum Descriptive Analysis, the sensory characteristics of different salt substitutes were evaluated in triplicate at 0.5% and 1% w/v. Arg and AMP had a synergistic effect in enhancing saltiness in KCl solutions at 0.5% and in inhibiting bitterness at 1.0%. Therefore, the taste qualities of KCl/Arg/AMP (15:2:1) were better than those of KCl. A consumer study was performed to determine the acceptability of pasta sauces containing different salt substitutes and determine sensory attributes driving acceptance and purchase intent. Consumers evaluated the products following a balanced incomplete block design augmented with control in every treatment. Results indicated that the sauce containing NaCl was the most accepted and vice versa for KCl. Overall liking scores affected product acceptance and purchase intent of all samples except the one containing the commercial salt substitute. The samples that contained salt substitutes were perceived to be bitter and not salty enough which resulted in mean drops of overall liking scores. Consumers’ number of positive responses for acceptance and purchase intent of KCl/Arg/AMP (15:2:1) was comparable to those of the commercial salt substitute used in this study. In conclusion, the findings revealed that KCl/Arg/AMP could be a commercial salt substitute.



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Committee Chair

Prinyawiwatkul, Witoon



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Life Sciences Commons