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No tasty foods without glutamate

29 August 2013

Natural glutamate is more present in our daily diet than most consumers realize: Because the amino acid occurs naturally in all foods that are rich in protein or have matured – and ensures an intensive, savoury taste that is very popular across cultures.

Numerous examples of traditional specialities such as various condiments and sauces made from soybeans, fish or other seafood show: The demand for dishes with the savoury "umami" taste is universal. And it is the amino acid glutamate that produces this savoury taste that is also described as "meaty". Natural glutamate provides the special note to many typically Italian dishes, such as lasagne. In lasagne there are several foods that are rich in glutamate and contribute to the "umami" taste, because the ground meat and also the typical Parmesan cheese and the ripe tomatoes used for the sauce are all rich in amino acid glutamate. But also traditional German dishes, such as goulash with peas have a high glutamate content – here it is likewise the meat, but also the peas as protein-rich pulses that provide the much-loved "umami" taste. Yeast extract too counts among the ingredients that are naturally rich in protein and it has – even although it is a vegetarian foodstuff – an amino acid profile that is very like that of a cooked meat stock. Yeast extracts are therefore an interesting alternative for consumers who would like to abstain from eating meat.