Food scientists have found a way of measuring how we register the saltiness of crisps which could lead to new ways of producing healthier crisps - without losing any of the taste.
The research by scientists at The University of Nottingham in the UK could lead to significant salt reduction in all snack foods.
The research, published on February 16 in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food & Function, follows an investigation into how salt is released from crisps into the mouth.
Dr Ian Fisk, a lecturer in the Division of Food Sciences, said: "The ‘salt burst' from crisps is only released into the mouth 20 seconds after chewing begins. This means that in many cases the crisp may have already been swallowed before the majority of the salty taste is detected.
"Our aim is to develop a series of technologies that accelerate the delivery of salt to the tongue by moving the burst from 20 seconds to within the time that you normally chew and swallow. This would mean that less salt would be needed to get the same amount of taste."
Excess salt in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
The World Health Organisation's recommendation for daily salt intake is just five grams. Many of us have twice this amount.
The reduction of salt intake is now a major challenge for health authorities and the food industry.
The full research paper can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2fo10282j