The aim of this study was to explore the use of soy sauce to reduce salt intake in daily food preparation by replacing all or some added salt with naturally brewed soy sauce without change in consumer acceptance. Three types of foods were investigated: salad dressing, tomato soup and stir-fried pork. A two-alternative forced choice test between a salt standard and a variety of soy sauce samples was used to establish the exchange rate, giving the amount of soy sauce needed to replace added salt with the same taste intensity. In a separate session, consumers were asked to evaluate the pleasantness and several sensory attributes of another five varieties of the food samples based on the proportion of salt and soy sauce added. The results showed that it is possible to reduce added salt by 33–50% in the foods studied when soy sauce is used to replace added salt during food preparation.


The relationship between the high salt consumption and hypertension has led to dietary recommendations to reduce salt in foods. However salt reduction is often difficult to achieve due to the reduction in acceptability of the reduced-salt foods. This article shows that it is possible to reduce salt in foods without compromising the taste intensity and pleasantness of the food by replacing salt with naturally-brewed soy sauce. Percentage of salt reduction achievable may be higher in a population with prior exposure to soy sauce in their diet. The method can be used by food industries to produce reduced salt products or by consumers at home.