The Science of Salty and Sweet



Our top-selling truffle collection.
Our top-selling truffle collection.


Sweet and salty combinations are extremely popular. Chocolate-covered pretzels, apples and cheese, kettle corn, prosciutto con melon…the list of temptations goes on. Even here at Delysia Chocolatier, our top-selling truffle collection is our Salted Collection featuring sea-salt, salted caramel and smoked-salted caramel all enveloped in our creamy 60% dark chocolate.

To many, the sugary-salty taste is irresistible while others scoff at the idea. But for anyone who has ever downed a can of Pringles after devouring  Hershey’s kisses, you are not alone. The salty and sweet marriage has a definitive scientific link. Dr. Robert Margolskee and his team at Monell Chemical Sense Center discovered the SGLT1 receptor, which transports sugars into cells only when sodium is present. From the study:  An intestinal glucose sensor also found to be located in the sweet-sensitive taste cells may provide an explanation for another mystery of sweet taste: why just a pinch of table salt tastes sweet or salt added to baked goods enhances sweet taste. Known as SGLT1, this sensor is a transporter that moves glucose into the sweet taste cell when sodium is present, thus triggering the cell to register sweetness. (Source Link). The same sensors are triggered to deter a person from craving additional sugar after having just consumed a sweet treat.

The SGLT1 receptor is why dipping french fries into a chocolate shake can taste so heavenly. Also, the delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate can be attributed to this same salty-sweet tastebud. So the next time you can’t decide between salty and sweet, why not choose both?

(Potions of this post were inspired by



Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.