ABSTRACT: The characteristic flavors, with the exception of umami, of dried bonito stock not only enhanced saltiness but also improved palatability, namely the acceptability, of salt-reduced foods. However, the respective effects of odorants and tastants of dried bonito stock on palatability have yet to be fully explained. Thus, the effect of dried bonito stock aroma on saltiness enhancement and palatability improvement in salt-reduced food was evaluated by sensory assessment. Probit analysis indicated that aromas of the stocks, arabushi and karebushi, did not affect the intensity of saltiness. However, the test sample with aromas of dried bonito stocks was significantly more palatable than the reference sample. The effects of the taste of dried bonito stock were also evaluated. Probit analysis indicated that enhanced saltiness was not observed in the MSG solution but was observed with the dried bonito stocks, when controlled for aroma. These results suggest that saltiness enhancement by dried bonito stock was caused by the characteristic taste (excluding umami) of dried bonito stock, while its characteristic aroma and umami were involved in preventing the loss of palatability of a low-salt diet. Moreover, it was found that using a combination of karebushi and dried kelp, as material for making stock, could contribute effectively to the preparation of palatable salt-reduced foods in Japan. Invention of new seasonings for improving the palatability of salt-reduced foods could exploit these findings.