Sunday, March 21, 2021

Taste of umami

In 1908, Dr. Ikeda from Imperial University of Tokyo proposed umami as a distinct taste recognizable in “dashi” which is Japanese stock flavored with kelp and dried bonito flakes.

Beyond the four better known tastes of salty, sweet, bitter, and sour, umami finds its place as the fifth basic taste evoking savory, full-bodied, and meaty flavor sensations. It is best described as a savory or “meaty” flavor.

Umami is an integral part of savory contributing to the taste dimension along with salty. There is a synergy observed between salt and umami taste (Halpern, 2000), meaning that one can reduce salt by umami compounds (and vice versa). However, equally important is the savory aroma to obtain a full savoury perception.

In cooking generally, the effect of adding umami compounds is an increase in savoriness, richness and an almost tactile mouth-filling quality. Mostly, this is achieved by the addition of common ingredients in soups, sauces and stews such as glutamate-rich vegetables and meats.

Umami is the taste imparted by a number of substances. These include glutamate, a salt of glutamic acid, specific ribonucleotides, and glutamate salts including monosodium glutamate (MSG), potassium glutamate, and calcium glutamate among others.
Taste of umami

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