Umami

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Umami (IPA: [uː mɑː mi]), popularly referred-to as savoriness,[1][2][3][4] is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Umami is a loanword from the Japanese umami (旨味?), meaning "good flavor", "good taste".[5] Umami represents the taste imparted by the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP).[6] It describes a pleasant "brothy" or "meaty" taste with a long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue. This is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid in specialized receptor cells present on the human and animal tongue.[7] [8] Its fundamental effect is the ability to balance and round the total flavor of a dish. Umami clearly enhances the palatability of soups and a wide variety of foods that are not sweet. Fruits, fruit juices and some dairy products do not match well with umami taste (for review Beuchamp, 2009). [9] Salts of glutamic acid, known as glutamates, easily ionize to give the same taste and they are used as flavor enhancers. While the umami taste is due to glutamates, (GMP) and (IMP) greatly enhance its perceived intensity. [8][10]

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