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New tech reduces salt without compromising taste
Novel food processing tech promises to lower sodium content without reducing flavor intensity.
- Current food processing technology reduces flavor intensity and requires much additional salt.
- New tech from Washington State University promises to reduce sodium content without affecting flavor.
- Too much salt consumption can lead to a host of illnesses.
Serving our palates for thousands of years, salt makes a big difference to how we perceive the taste of a food. But consuming too much salt can result in increased blood pressure, added risk of stroke, failure of the heart, kidney disease, stomach cancer, osteoporosis and more health issues. Now new technology promises to drastically reduce the amount of salt in food without sacrificing its tastiness.
Salt, a mineral mainly made up of sodium chloride, is found abundantly in modern processed food, in particular, which accounts for 60-80% of all food consumed by Americans. This kind of food contains high levels of sodium, both for taste and preservation, as the current preservation method (called retort) is known for reducing the intensity of flavors. The new technology, called microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS), promises to get the sodium number much lower but not affect the flavor as significantly.
Developed by researchers from Washington State University (WSU), MATS utilizes microwave tech to destroy any pathogens in food. For a comparative taste test, the scientists used the traditional preservation method retort and MATS on mashed potatoes. Tasting panels were held and the University's e-tongue was also employed to gauge how the tech lowered salt content and affected the fllavor intensity of other ingredients, be it petter or garlic. If pepper intensity stays high, then less salt is needed to make the food tasty.
Food science professor Carolyn Ross, the lead author of the paper, said that they found pepper intensity was the same after MATS as when used on fresh potatoes. But after retort, it was another matter.
"The heating process of retort, which takes longer to get up to temperature and longer to cool off, changes the texture and flavor of food," explained Ross. "MATS is much faster, so it doesn't have nearly as big an impact on those areas."
Why Is Salt So Bad for You, Anyway?
The researchers discovered that using MATS could help reduce salt content in mashed potatoes by up to 50 percent without affecting taste. The tasters were able to tell there was less salt but since the flavor intensity of the other ingredients was actually higher, the salt was not missed. "Basically, if you can enhance the flavors of herbs, the food still seems salty enough to be enjoyed," said Ross.
The scientists think their MATS technology could be particularly helpful to older adults, who often have to eat prepared meals due to issues of safety and expedience.
The research team also included WSU's Sasha Barnett, Shyam Sablani, and Juming Tang.
To read their new study, "The potential for microwave technology and the ideal profile method to aid in salt reduction," check out its publication in the Journal of Food Science.
What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.
- Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
- The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
- The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
Jet bursting out of a blazar. Black-hole-powered galaxies called blazars are the most common sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Cosmic death beams: Understanding gamma ray bursts<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="cu2knVEk" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6cfd20fdf31c82cb206ade8ce21ba3f"> <div id="botr_cu2knVEk_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/cu2knVEk-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.
- A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
- This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
- The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
The process for measuring the fine-structure constant involved a beam of light from a laser that caused an atom to recoil. The red and blue colors indicate the light wave's peaks and troughs, respectively.
Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.
- Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
- Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
- The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.