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Developing products with reduced sodium content is one alternative for consumers interested in reducing their daily sodium intake. In this research, we determined whether soy sauce odour could induce and enhance salty taste perception in salt solution models. The sensory threshold technique (ASTM E679-04, the ascending forced choice method of limits) was used to determine thresholds at 25 °C. Group best estimate threshold geometric means of soy sauce odour were expressed as parts-per-billion (ppb, v/v). At 28.45 ppb (recognition threshold), soy sauce odour could induce salty taste in 0.03 mm NaCl solution (in which salty taste was undetectable without soy sauce odour) and at 122.71 ppb (difference threshold), it enhanced salty taste (i.e. saltier) perception in 20 mm NaCl solution. Through the odour–taste interaction concept, this study demonstrated that the soy sauce odour could induce and enhance salty taste perception, which could be applied in the development of reduced-sodium foods.