If you're aiming to reduce your salt intake, fish sauce can provide an effective alternative. New research has found that this condiment may be used as a partial substitute ingredient for salt as a means to reduce sodium content in food without diminishing palatability.
In the study, the team of researchers from Taylor's University in Malaysia found that Vietnamese fish sauce added to chicken broth, tomato sauce and coconut curry reduced the amount of sodium chloride by 10-25 percent while still maintaining the perceived deliciousness, saltiness and overall flavor intensity.
The findings appeared in the Journal of Food Science.
Fish sauces are a standard condiment and ingredient in various Southeast Asian cuisines that add an umami element to many foods.
Fish sauce is made by combining sea salt and long-jawed black anchovies in large vats to slowly ferment for eight-12 months, during which the protein breaks down to free amino acids and increases the umami taste.
It is used as a readily available source of protein and seasoning in the Asia region.
The results of the new study could aid chefs and food manufacturers in creating foods lower in sodium content that would meet the needs of consumers, healthcare providers, governmental organizations, and consumer advocacy groups without compromising taste.