What does umami mean?

The fifth basic taste your tongue can detect next to sweet, salty, sour and bitter was discovered in Japan. Umami can be translated as “pleasant savoury taste”. People taste umami through taste receptors that typically respond to glutamates and nucleotides, which are widely present in meat broths and fermented products.

In Japan, people traditionally use “dashi”, a broth made from kombu seaweed which is rich in glutamate, and dried bonito fish which is rich in nucleotides. This broth is an important basis for Japanese cuisine and gives umami taste to many dishes.

But umami is not only important in Asian cuisine. The most respected cuisines in Europe are rich in umami taste. In the Italian kitchen tomatoes, parmesan cheese, mushrooms and cured ham provide the rich umami taste. In France it is bouillon stock which is simmered for many hours, and which is an important base for many delicious and famous soups, sauces and meals. When savoury food is not delicious and rich, the reason is often that it is lacking umami.


Umami is not only coming from glutamate and nucleotides. Other amino acids naturally present in yeast extracts and other food contribute to umami taste as well, as was discovered by Japanese scientist Yamaguchi who designed the Yamaguchi equation to calculate the umami strength of food products containing a variety of amino acids and nucleotides. This equation also shows the synergy between amino acids and nucleotides with regards to umami taste.

The umami effect of Ajitop is very fast and gives a strong front impact. Aromild on the other hand gives a long lasting umami. Combining these two products gives synergy as well as umami taste from the beginning till the end.

For more information or advice, please contact us.

Our ingredients related to umami