Umami is one of the 5 basic tastes human beings can perceive. Remembering, we feel sweet, salty, sour or acid and bitter, as well as Umami, scientifically known as the 5th basic taste12.
The word Umami means "tasty" in Japanese. It was chosen by Japanese professor and scientist Kikunae Ikeda to name his important discovery, a result of studies conducted on the dashi broth 3.
We feel the taste of Umami when we prove foods rich in the glutamate amino acid and in some nucleotides, specially inosinate and guanylate. These compounds are known as Umami 4 substances and result into the perception of the 5th basic taste.
Despite seemingly subtle, Umami is one of the main responsible for the richness and harmony of flavor of several foods. This is due to the fact it combines with the scents of the food components (spices, vegetables, meats, etc.). As a result we have pleasant, rich and harmonious flavors 5. Therefore, Umami enhances the global flavor and is essential for the sensorial acceptance of foods 6.