Umami was first scientifically identified in 1908 by Prof. Dr. Kikunae Ikeda from Tokyo Imperial University. He noticed that the taste of kombu dashi soup was distinct from sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, leading to the research which was founded that this taste in the broth of Kombu seaweed is from “Glutamate” , a kind of Amino Acid, widely present in Kombu seaweed and finally named it as...
“Umami” is from two Japanese words; Umai (Delicious) and Mi (Essence)
“If you consciously taste food, we'll found that there's a distinct unique taste in asparagus, tomato, cheese, and meat which cannot identify as sweet, sour, salty, nor bitter.”
Prof. Dr.Kikunae Ikeda
, a teacher of Tokyo Imperial University founded “Umami”
taste from Kombu seaweed.
The discovery of Umami
inspired Mr.Saburosuke Suzuki
, Japanese businessman, to create "Umami Seasoning"
or "Monosodium Glutamate"
and launched in 1909 named as "Ajinomoto"
which means "the source of deliciousness"
aiming people around the world to Eat Well, Live Well.
Umami: The Fifth Basic Taste
"Umami" is the taste of “Glutamate” (amino acid which is a component of protein), the most abundant natural raw material in the form of free glutamate that can be found naturally in meat, seafood, milk including Umami seasonings through fermentation or aged such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, fermented fish, budu, fermented soy bean, soy sauce, etc. Moreover, it is also found in vegetables such as tomato, radish, asparagus, baby corn, corn etc.
These abovementioned materials are selected to use in food due to their flavor enhancing properties which made food more delicious by
using long cooking process such boiling, steaming or using heat in a long hour.
Taste perception of "Umami"
is a universal perception because everyone can perceive this taste as well, but different kind of words such as 'Nua' in North-eastern part of Thailand or 'stock soup sweet' which is not sweet like sugar but a flavorful deliciousness. Apart from 4 basic tastes; sour, sweet, salty, bitter,
"Umami" is generally known as "The Fifth Basic Taste"
If we look through a microscope while eating, we'll be able to see Taste Receptors on tongue which has a specific figure accord with molecule of a basic taste like a key with a master key, for example, glutamate with umami, sucrose with sweet, sodium chloride with salty, and caffeine with bitter. When taste receptors receive some taste, then sending signal through Facial Nerve and Glossopharyngeal Nerve to brain.
“ So we can perceive a different taste' ”
According to some research and scientific evidence, our tongue has Umami receptor which is the fifth basic taste. When we eat some food which is full of free glutamate, umami taste receptor on tongue will send signal to the brain, then we can acknowledge and remember the taste, and want to eat those umami food again.
"Umami Seasoning": Worldwide Deliciousness
Umami seasonings or umami natural raw materials are one of secret tips for the deliciousness around the world. Across cultures and different races, "Umami" is widely accepted and used as a seasoning since it can be found in different cuisines across the globe.
The chefs around the world select a raw material which is rich in glutamate because it can enhance umami taste or deliciousness well.
In Japan, "Umami" is found in Dashi and Shoyu, and found in fermented whole soybean and oyster sauce in Chinese cuisine as well as tomato sauce in western foods. In Thailand, there are many kinds of seasonings that provide "Umami", obviously it's stock soup made from pork or chicken bone boiling for many hours etc.
MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is one of umami seasonings rich in glutamate, an amino acid that gives umami taste. Using MSG in cooking is like adding glutamate but more comfortable, shorten time in preparing ingredients and cooking, safe, and answer the urban people's hasty lifestyle as well.
“ Most of all, glutamate in MSG is as same as glutamate founded in other natural raw materials. ”