Concept: Miso soup
Little is known about the effect of serving temperature on saltiness perception in food products such as soups that are typically consumed at high temperature. This study focused on determining whether serving temperature modulates saltiness perception in soup-base products. Eight trained panelists and 62 untrained consumers were asked to rate saltiness intensities in salt water, chicken broth, and miso soup, with serving temperatures of 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 °C. Neither trained nor untrained panelists were able to find significant difference in the saltiness intensity among salt water samples served at these five different temperatures. However, untrained consumers (but not trained panelists) rated chicken broth and miso soup to be significantly saltier when served at 70 and/or 80 °C compared to when served at 40 to 60 °C. There was an interaction between temperature-related perceived saltiness and preference; for example, consumers who preferred soups served at lower temperatures found soups served at higher temperatures to be less salty. Consumers who frequently consumed hot dishes rated soup samples served at 60 °C as saltier than consumers who consumed hot dishes less frequently. This study demonstrates that soup serving temperature and consumer dietary habits are influential factors affecting saltiness perception of soup.
Objective It is recommended that middle-aged and elderly individuals reduce their salt intake because of the high prevalence of hypertension. The consumption of miso soup is associated with salt intake, and the reduced consumption of miso soup has been recommended. Recent studies have demonstrated that the consumption of miso soup can attenuate an autonomic imbalance in animal models. However, it is unclear whether these results are applicable to humans. This study examined the cross-sectional association between the frequency of miso soup consumption and the blood pressure and heart rate of human subjects. Methods A total of 527 subjects of 50 to 81 years of age who participated in our hospital health examination were enrolled in the present study and divided into four groups based on the frequency of their miso soup consumption ([bowl(s) of miso soup/week] Group 1, <1; Group2, <4; Group3, <7; Group4, ≥7). The blood pressure levels and heart rates of the subjects in each group were compared. Furthermore, a multivariable analysis was performed to determine whether miso soup consumption was an independent factor affecting the incidence of hypertension or the heart rate. Results The frequency of miso soup consumption was not associated with blood pressure. The heart rate was, however, lower in the participants who reported a high frequency of miso soup consumption. A multivariable analysis revealed that the participants who reported a high frequency of miso soup consumption were more likely to have a lower heart rate, but that the consumption of miso soup was not associated with the incidence of hypertension. Conclusion These results indicate that miso soup consumption might decrease the heart rate, but not have a significant effect on the blood pressure of in middle-aged and elderly Japanese individuals.
Reducing dietary salt intake remains a challenging issue in the management of chronic disease. Taste preference is suspected to be an important proxy index of daily sodium consumption. This study examined the difference in daily sodium intake according to self-reported taste preference for miso soup as representative of homemade cooking in middle-aged urban Japanese adults. Among 896 candidates randomly selected from examinees of cancer screening provided by the National Cancer Center, Japan, 143 men and women participated in this cross-sectional study. During the period from May 2007 through April 2008, participants provided a food frequency questionnaire, which included information on taste preference and dietary behaviors, a weighed food record over 4 consecutive days, a simultaneous 24-hour urine collection, and a sample of miso soup as it is usually prepared in the home. Mean 24-hour urinary sodium excretion and daily sodium intake were compared according to the self-reported taste preference for miso soup. Taste preference was significantly associated with both 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (trend P<0.01) and daily sodium intake (trend P=0.01), with a corresponding regression coefficient per 1 rank preference increment of 403 mg and 315 mg/day, respectively. The observed association between preference and urinary excretion was attenuated by further adjustment for discretionary salt-related behaviors. These findings suggest that self-reported taste preference for homemade cooking is a defining feature of daily sodium intake through discretionary salt-related dietary behaviors. A reduction in daily sodium consumption per 1 rank light preference was estimated to equate to approximately 1 g salt/day.