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, fermented products, but also in a variety of western 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 an umami taste to many dishes.

But umami is not only important in Asian cuisine. The most respected cuisines in Europe are also rich in umami taste. In Italian cooking, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, mushrooms and cured ham provide the rich umami taste. In France it is traditional to use stocks which have been simmered for many hours that serve as an important base for many delicious and soups, sauces and meals. When savoury food is not delicious and rich, the reason is often that it is lacking umami, which is essential to making you experience food on a deeper level.

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

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

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