How does umami smell

What is the umami flavor?

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"Umami" is Japanese and means something like "delicious". This flavor designates the taste of proteins, more precisely, the taste of salts of the amino acid glutamate. Glutamate is the most abundant amino acid found in proteins and is added to many processed foods as a "flavor enhancer".

The four long-known flavors sweet, sour, salty and bitter are assigned to different taste fields on the tongue: The tip of the tongue mainly perceives "sweet", while the edge of the tongue is mainly tasted as "sour". "Bitter" is felt at the base of the tongue, while the receptors for "salty" are located both at the tip of the tongue and at the edges. Different "taste buds" register the signal substances of the respective taste and convey sensory perception to the brain through various complicated mechanisms. All other types of flavors can be formed from the four basic flavors, similar to the way in which all other flavors can be produced by mixing the three basic colors. Since the number of taste buds in the mouth and throat area can be very different in people, the perceived intensity is also very different. So you can't really argue about taste.

But anyone who thinks that these four flavors alone are responsible for the taste of food knows only half the story. Because we also taste umami. The Japanese Kikunae Ikeda discovered this flavor as early as 1908 and called it "umami" (tasty, delicious). Umami does not reinforce any of the four common flavors and cannot be composed of these. "Umami" is perceived primarily in the pharynx. The umami taste is mainly felt when eating protein-rich food and is attributed to the salts of the L-amino acid glutamate. Glutamate increases the inherent taste of the food ("flavor enhancer").
In the last few years of the 20th century, scientists discovered how umami receptors look and function. It is particularly interesting that the receptor reacts to all L-amino acids, although some of them have very different taste qualities.
Glutamate has been used in Asian cuisine for significantly longer and in larger quantities than in this country. However, its popularity has also risen steadily in Europe in recent years. Chicken broth, tomato concentrates, milk, mushrooms, numerous seafood, soy sauce and older cheeses such as parmesan are comparatively high in glutamate. Glutamate is used in large quantities as an additive in seasonings and ready-made meals. The direct addition of glutamates (E 620- E 622) is prohibited in organic products, but glutamates can also find their way into organic foods via various aromatic substances.

In addition to the flavors, the consistency, temperature, appearance and smell also influence the "overall taste" of a food. It is very difficult to distinguish between apple and onion pieces with your tongue alone while you are blindfolded and blindfolded.
There are also sensory impressions that are caused by physical rather than chemical reactions: Spicy is therefore not a taste quality of its own, but a substance that we perceive as "hot". That is why hot chilli is also called "hot (hot) chilli". In addition, human taste buds can identify the senses "greasy" and "watery", as well as "astringent" (astringent) and metallic.

Leading physiologists in the field of taste research suggest that there are around 10 different taste receptors (and corresponding flavors) in our mouths, most of which have not yet been discovered.

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N.N .: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and - umami. http: // / ... Status: April 2002
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N.N .: Umami - the new art of Japanese protein folding? / ... Status: April 2002
Rehner, G .; Daniel, H .: Biochemistry of Nutrition. Pp. 177, 179, 192, Spectrum of Science, Heidelberg 1999

Status: 2007

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