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Glutamic acid in foodstuffs and within the human body

23 June 2016
Naturally occurring glutamic acid has a savoury and “rich” taste. It is often present in foods that are rich in proteins, which are therefore rich in amino acids. Ripe tomatoes, meat, Parmesan cheese and legumes contain a lot of glutamic acid, as well as popular condiments such as soy sauce, tomato ketchup and yeast extract. Yeast extract is a popular spread in the UK and Australia, and food producers also use it to add a savoury taste to their products and dishes. Despite its savoury taste of its own, which is comparable to meat broth, yeast extract is a purely vegetarian ingredient which is also suitable for vegan diets.
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A guide to umami – taste buds, taste receptors and the taste map

23 June 2016
It is commonly known that there are not just four, but five tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami, also referred to as the fifth taste. Most of us learned in school that the distribution of taste buds on the tongue could be depicted as a map. Even though it has been since proven that the so-called “tongue map” is wrong, there is still the widespread misconception that sweetness may be detected at the tip of the tongue, saltiness and sourness on the sides of the tongue, and bitterness at the back of the tongue, near the throat. Umami is often missing from these kind of “maps.”
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Vegetarian diet becomes increasingly popular

19 November 2015
How yeast extract can support a healthy diet. The vegetarian/vegan lifestyle is still one of the biggest nutritional trends and is thus also of interest to the food industry. Big international trade fairs, at which the industry regularly discusses the latest developments in the food sector, repeatedly confirm this. In contrast, in light of the challenges of rising populations worldwide, it is becoming more and more likely that meat will not be a regular component of all people’s diets.
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Airplanes, tomato juice, and the design of umami

19 November 2015
Professor Charles Spence is the Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. He is a cognitive neuroscientist who brings together people with different backgrounds such as marketers, designers, chefs, sensory scientists, composers and psychologists who are interested in utilising the latest insights from the field of neuroscience to help design products, services, environments, foods and packaging with a view to stimulating the senses of the consumer more effectively.
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Did you know...

19 November 2015
The term "umami" is Japanese and can be translated approximately as “tasty”. However, ingredients that give dishes an umami taste are not just used in traditional Japanese cooking. The requirement for the savoury umami taste can be observed worldwide in different cooking traditions, whether it is Spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan cheese or a hearty stew with meat and legumes. As with yeast extract, these foods have a savoury umami taste due to their natural glutamate content. The Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda first described umami as an independent taste in 1908. He observed that the intensive taste of a Japanese fish stock was unlike any other taste sensation described until then. Meanwhile, umami is an established basic taste along with sweet, salty, bitter and sour for both, top chefs and hobby chefs. Learn more about umami here.
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