S e a r c h


Umami, the missing fifth taste

By JOE O'CONNELL, cbbqa Past President
First posted August 24, 2001

As reported in Scientific American, researchers are studying a taste receptor that may be responsible for a taste which Japanese scientists call umami.  The word means "meaty" or "savory" in the Japanese language.

Scientists have isolated a receptor from rat tissue that binds to the amino acid glutamate (part of MSG), which they propose underlies the umami taste.  Others however remain skeptical.  They doubt that umami constitutes a fifth major taste, as significant as sweet, sour, salty and bitter. 

Related Information:

Scientific American, "Making Sense of Taste"





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