Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Long Lasting flavor of Umami

Umami is the least understood taste sensation, and it is now being investigated by researchers to provide more information on taste preferences. The goal of food developers is to enhance umami, which is described as "a hearty, savoury taste." Researchers found that the glutamate receptors on the tongue (the receptors that detect the umami taste) can be "drastically enhanced" by certain proteins (5’ribonucleotides). These nucleotides bind to the receptor in order to keep the umami taste (glutamate) lingering inside of your mouth. The researchers attribute the lingering taste of umami to a "Venus fly-trap" effect, in that the glutamate receptors catch, literally, the umami taste. What implications this may have on health have yet to be determined; however, I've never been a fan of Little Shop of Horrors...


Scott W. said...

Perhaps the next flavor for chewing gum?

Marissa Beck said...

Haha, good idea!

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