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THE FIFTH TASTE : YOUR FOOD WILL TASTE BETTER IF YOU KNOW HOW TO EXTRACT ITS UMAMI

FROM WIKIPEDIA :

Umami, popularly referred to as savoriness, has been proposed as one of the basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human and animal tongue.

Umami (旨味?) is a loanword from Japanese meaning "flavor" or "taste" (noun).[1] In English, however, "brothy", "meaty", or "savory" have been proposed as alternative translations.[2][3] In as much as it describes the flavor common to savory products such as meat, cheese, and mushrooms, umami is similar to Brillat-Savarin's concept of osmazome, an early attempt to describe the main flavoring component of meat as extracted in the process of making stock.

The umami taste is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring amino acid common in meat, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. Salts of glutamic acid, known as glutamates, easily ionize to give the same carboxylate form and therefore the same taste. For this reason, they are used as flavor enhancers. The most commonly used of these is monosodium glutamate (MSG). While the umami taste is due to glutamates, 5'-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP) greatly enhance its perceived intensity. Since these ribonucleotides are also acids, their salts are sometimes added together with glutamates to obtain a synergistic flavor enhancement effect.[2][4]

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