Manufacturers using less salt…the lowdown

Low sodium soup

Have you noticed the commercials that crow over “less salt” in the soup? They’ve been listening to all the clamour about people consuming too much salt, leading to health problems. And there’s less sugar in some food products, too! Isn’t that great?

Low sodium soup

If only. I looked into it and here’s what’s actually happening:

Senomyx is a company that uses proprietary taste receptor technologies to discover and develop novel flavour ingredients in the savory, sweet, salt, bitter and cooling areas. “Senomyx has contracted with Kraft, Nestle, Coca Cola, Campbell Soup to put a chemical in foods that masks bitter flavors by turning off bitter flavor receptors on the tongue and enhancing salty and sweet flavors. This would allow the companies to tout claims such as “less sugar” or “lower sodium” by reducing the actual sugar and/or salt by approximately half, but the foods will retain the same level of sweetness or saltiness when they touch the tongue by fooling your brain.” (

This new chemical additive isn’t required to be listed on the label. It’s included in “artificial flavour”. If it says “artificial flavour (or flavor)”, it’s not real, not natural, not good for your health, and certainly not sustainable. Just like artificial fragrances, artificial flavours are just that — artificial.

So…good about less salt and sugar, but definitely bad about yet another chemical in food. The only healthy choice is to not buy into processed foods at all.

3 Replies to “Manufacturers using less salt…the lowdown”

  1. Oh lovely.
    Another thing to hope I don’t find accidentally when my digestive system points it out by shutting down.

  2. Paulette, natural vanilla extract isn’t artificial; it would be listed as “natural flavour’. The chemical the manufacturers is using is not natural, but included on the label under “artificial flavour”. I don’t know what the chemical is called; I quoted the info from, and included a link. I don’t think it’s being alarmist — there are so many artificial flavours & colours in processed food, that it’s hardy food any more.

  3. So what is it? If you know you should be open about it & not leave things hanging.
    Its very easy to be alarmist, and make insinuations, but what exactly is it that can be labelled as flavour.. Is this the same principle as my using vanilla extract in some home recipes, because the tongue interprets it as “sweet” allowing me to reduce the sugar markedly without losing taste preference?

    Natural vanilla extract could certainly be labelled as flavour, but I am certainly not frightened by its usage. So, please be open – tell us what the “secret” ingredient really is and let us decide if the label “flavour” is appropriate.

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