Monell receives $1 million to research salty taste

January 9, 2013

The Monell Center has received $1 million from food chemistry consultant Louise Slade to support Monell’s fundamental research program on the mechanisms of human salt detection and perception.

“We are deeply grateful to Louise for this important gift,” said Monell Director Gary K. Beauchamp. “The development of practical and successful methods to reduce salt intake likely will not be possible without a more thorough understanding of exactly how humans detect salty taste and the factors that modify salty taste acceptance. Louise’s support underscores both her appreciation for the value of basic scientific research and her deep-rooted interest in human nutritional health and quality of life.”

To date, the call to reduce salt intake has not been successful, in part because humans like the taste of salt. However, the basic mechanisms underlying detection and acceptance of salty taste still remain incompletely understood.

The $1 million gift will underwrite the expansion of Monell’s ongoing interdisciplinary research program on the mechanisms and functions of salty taste. World-renowned experts in molecular biology, human sensory perception, developmental psychobiology, and other fields work together with the goal of achieving a complete understanding of this complex and elusive topic.

Originally trained as a protein chemist, Slade retired in 2006 after a 27-year career in the food industry. A member of the Institute of Food Technologists, Slade holds 35 patents for novel food ingredients, products, and processes. She now is a principal of Food Polymer Science Consultancy. With a passionate desire to contribute to the science of flavor, she currently holds an appointment as an Affiliated Scientist at Monell and serves on the Center’s International Advisory Council.

Press release