Sodium reduction in enrobed restructured chicken nuggets through replacement of NaCl with CaCl2

  • Julliane Carvalho BarrosEmail author
  • Taynara Saviani Gois
  • Manoela Alves Pires
  • Isabela Rodrigues
  • Marco Antonio Trindade
Original Article


The present study aimed to reformulate chicken nuggets with reduced sodium content, replacing the NaCl with CaCl2 and assessing the physicochemical and sensory properties of the obtained products. Four treatments of chicken nuggets were processed: Control formulation (1.5 g NaCl/100 g) and three treatments containing CaCl2 substituting 25, 50 and 75% of the NaCl, considering an ionic strength equivalent to 1.5% NaCl. The four different chicken nuggets were similar (p > 0.05) for the variables oil absorption, lipid, protein and moisture contents, water activity, cooking yield, pick-up and texture profile analysis. However, a decrease in ash content (2.21–1.75 g/100 g) was observed. The replacement of 75% NaCl could reduce 34% sodium in chicken nuggets with a concomitant increase in the calcium content (10–130 mg/100 g). For objective colour, the brightness (L*) increased from 74.43 to 78.28 as CaCl2 contents increased in the chicken nuggets, but the a* and b*parameters did not show differences (p > 0.05) among all treatments. Sensory acceptance (texture, flavour and overall quality attributes) did not differ between Control and the 75% sodium reduction treatments (all values around 7.5 in the 9-point hedonic scale), despite the decrease in the salty taste observed in the just about right scale test. Thus, the maximum tested replacement of 75% NaCl by CaCl2 produced healthier chicken nuggets, for having provided a reduction in sodium content and increase in calcium content, besides maintaining sensory quality and most of the technological characteristics.


Consumer study Healthiness Ionic strength Meat product Salt substitute Physicochemical analysis 



The authors thank the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior –Finance Code 001 (CAPES, Brazil) for the doctoral scholarship granted to the first author (J. C. Barros). Also to the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, Brazil) for supporting the research (Process 2015/12429-7), and Kerry, New Max and Cori Ingredientes Company (Brazil) for their donations. The author M. A. Trindade is a member of the MARCARNE network, funded by CYTED (ref. 116RT0503).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food EngineeringCollege of Animal Science and Food Engineering of University of São PauloPirassunungaBrazil

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