Sure to be of interest
to many reefkeepers is this abstract of a paper to be presented
at the 12th Annual Joint
Symposium of the Royal Academy of Hypertensives, RAH, and
the American Society for the Tasting of Materials, ASTM; to
be held June 3-7 in New York, New York.
A Round-Robin Panel Evaluation of the
Properties of Synthetic Sea Salt Mixes as Compared to a Standard
Reference Material. Mario Batali, Presenter.
There is considerable debate in the scientific
community about the attributes of the compositions of the
various Synthetic Sea Salt Mixes, SSSM's, (sometimes known
as Artificial Sea Water, ASW) available on the market. To
this end, we endeavored to quell some of this debate by conducting
a round-robin panel assessment of seven commercially available
SSSM's and compared them to a standard reference material.
This standard, Morton's Table Salt-Iodized (Morton International,
Inc; Chicago, Ill.), was evaluated against the SSSM's by a
panel of nine experts.
Each member of the panel was given large portions of McDonald's
French Fries (McDonald's Company; Oak Brook, Ill.) left unsalted.
They then applied liberal portions of the seven selected SSSM's
to these fries. The panel then conducted sensory evaluations
of each SSSM as compared to the standard material. Following
this rigorous testing they were asked to evaluate the various
Unfortunately, the most senior member of this panel was forced
to withdraw early in the testing because of acute attacks
of Angina Pectoris. This left only eight panelists
to continue evaluations.
After testing, all panelists agreed there was little difference
between the SSSM's but marked flavor differences when compared
to the Morton's Salt standard. The most notable difference
was not one of taste, but the SSSM's did not exit the salt
dispensers as easily as the reference material. This may be
attributed to the sodium silicoaluminate, an anti-caking agent,
present in the Morton's but lacking in the SSSM group. The
study was conducted on a very humid and rainy day. This difference
caused one distinguished panelist to remark about the Morton's,
"When it Precipitates, it Flows!"
Some of the panel complained of flatulence, abdominal cramps
and diarrhea while using the SSSM's. This is thought to be
from the high levels of calcium and magnesium sulfates present
in the SSSM's but absent in the Morton's.
In a concurrent co-study, researcher Martha Stewart, ran
a double blind analysis of one of the more popular SSSM's,
Instant Ocean (IO), against the standard Morton's using the
male population at a Danbury, Ct. Institution, FCI. Half of
the study group received IO in their meals while the other
half received Morton's Iodized.
The most common comment is this test group was that the IO
tasted like it had saltpeter, sodium nitrate, as a component.
This compound has been said to reduce male libido when consumed
in the diet. As the manufacturer of IO claimed this compound
was not present in their formula, Ms. Stewart thought further
analysis was warranted. She personally examined the portion
of the test group, 231 males, who commented about the saltpeter.
Dissatisfied with those results, she decided to test the entire
group, 1274 males, for dysfunctions.
This work was extremely exhausting on Ms. Stewart and she
has since returned home to rest and conduct detailed mathematical
analysis on her data using the SPSD (Statistical Program for
the Social Diseases) as her analysis tool. She will hopefully
recover and be able to present her work as a separate paper
at the symposium.
It was also announced that Public Broadcasting, PBS, plans
to tape the panel taste test presentation and air it on their
show "America's Test Kitchen" following the conference.
Plans are also in the works to have Ms. Stewart's findings
aired by Women's Entertainment, WE, on the show "Talk