Making crisps healthier


Salt from crisps is only released into the mouth 20 seconds after chewing begins, by which time, the crisp has been swallowed. © Shutterstockd.

An investigation by UK scientists into how salt is released from crisps (known as potato chips in the US) as you eat them could lead to a healthier crisp that tastes just as good.

Ian Fisk and Tian Xing from the University of Nottingham found that a large proportion of the salt in crisps is only released into the mouth 20 seconds after chewing, by which time the crisp may have already been swallowed. Fisk says that this salt burst is underexploited, but it could open doors to salt reduction in snack foods.

Excess salt in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, so reducing salt in processed foods is a goal for health authorities and food companies alike. ‘Our current aim is to develop a series of technologies that accelerates the delivery of salt to the tongue by moving the “burst” from 20 seconds to within the time that you normally chew and swallow,’ says Fisk. Scientists could then increase the flavour using less salt.

This article has been featured in the UK press (see the Daily Mail and Daily Express stories).

You can hear Ian Fisk talk about the research on BBC Radio 4: listen to the recording here.

 Read the full story in Chemistry World

Link to journal article
Salt release from potato crisps
Xing Tian and Ian D. Fisk
Food Funct., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2FO10282J

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