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Meat Sci. 2006 Jul;73(3):484-90. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2006.01.009. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Consumer attitude towards sodium reduction in meat products and acceptability of fermented sausages with reduced sodium content.

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Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries, Centre de Tecnologia de la Carn, Unitat de Tecnologia de Processos, Granja Camps i Armet s/n, 17121 Monells, Spain.


Lowering salt content in meat products is possible from a technological and sensorial point of view, although little information is available about the consumers' attitude and acceptance of these products. Attitude towards low salt meat products, following the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) proposed by Ajzen, was evaluated by 392 consumers. Acceptability of small calibre fermented sausages with 50% molar substitution of NaCl by six different mixtures of KCl (0-50%) and K-lactate (0-50%) and the control (22g NaCl/kg) was determined by 98 consumers. The preference of the previous best two treatments was compared to the batch control by 279 consumers. In general consumers had a positive attitude towards low salt meat products, being higher for women than for men. Women showed stronger ideas and higher Perceived Control on the Behaviour towards reduced sodium meat products than men. Smokers showed lower intense beliefs than non-smokers. Consumers with a basic level of education were more affected by what other people important for them thought they should do. The final model obtained using the Theory of Planned Behaviour showed a good predictive capacity (R(2)=0.60) and a good internal consistency. Regarding the acceptability study, batches with substitution levels of 50% and 40% by K-lactate, showed lower overall acceptance than the control batch. Significant differences in acceptability were found regarding the gender and place of residence of the consumers. The preference study showed no differences between the batch control and batches with 50% KCl and 40% KCl + 10% of K-lactate substitution levels. According to these results and from a sensorial point of view, it is possible to reduce NaCl content in small calibre fermented sausages by 50% and obtain a product acceptable for consumers.

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