A recent study1, on the role herbs and spices could play in enhancing consumer liking of low salt soup, shows how difficult is the task of reformulating established products. As with other studies of this nature, the results show that reducing the salt levels (in a tomato soup) leads to an immediate decline in consumer liking for the soup. The study showed that even with careful selection of herbs and spices, to increase the seasoning and perceived saltiness, it took repeated consumption of the reformulated 'new' soup to increase people's taste for it. The unseasoned, low salt variant did not become liked even after repeated tastings.
In contrast, seasoning with MSG (monosodium glutamate) can facilitate formulation with significantly lower sodium levels, while not reducing the palatability and pleasantness of the soup. And for those who fret about so-called clean labeling (or using chemicals or artificial additives) in their food - they will be pleased to learn that the glutamate in the seasoning is exactly the same as that in tomatoes; and that MSG seasoning has just 40% of the sodium in an equivalent amount of table salt.
There are some very tasty recipes on our MSGDish blog.
1. Ghawi, Rowland & Methven: Enhancing consumer liking of low salt tomato soup over repeated exposure by herb and spice seasonings. Appetite 81, 20-29, 2014