engage your senses

Umami... it’s all about taste

The man who discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG), chemist Kikunae Ikeda, coined its distinctive flavour as ‘umami’, a colloquial Japanese word meaning ‘delicious taste’. First used by Japanese housewives in 1909 as a substitute for meat stock, MSG produces a succulence and depth of flavour in cooking. Today, Givaudan is able to replicate this succulence without using MSG.

Noodles

The fifth taste

Western kitchens have been very familiar with the taste sensations of umami-rich foods for some time. Originally, umami was used to describe the taste effect of monosodium glutamate (MSG), which consumers are familiar with from many common western foods such as cheddar cheese, Parma ham, onion, chicken, tuna... it is even present in mothers’ milk. Umami is now officially known as the 'fifth taste' along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

The demand for products with clean label and natural ingredients continues to rise; consumers are actively looking for umami-rich products with no MSG. Despite the fact that MSG is naturally occurring, consumers often feel that the term ‘monosodium glutamate’ describes something unnatural. 

    With an increasing demand for label transparency and recognisable natural ingredients, food companies turn to Givaudan to deliver great tasting products with plenty of umami.

    “Adding umami is like moving from two to three dimensions.”

    Jean-Louis, Principal Flavourist Givaudan

    By combining a scientific understanding of umami, together with our culinary expertise and knowledge of taste enhancement in food, Givaudan has developed TasteSolutions® Umami. Through this programme we create flavours that impart the desirable umami qualities to foods, thanks to a portfolio of proprietary ingredients that has been assembled following culinary treks and taste treks. These journeys of discovery have captured long-established cooking traditions that use umami to create delicious taste profiles.

     

    Keeping labels clean

    Almost everyone, every day encounters umami in the foods they enjoy. With our holistic approach towards creation, Givaudan leverages state of the art technology to master the taste balance between all angles including sweet, salty and mineral. Givaudan has solutions for all your umami needs across all savoury applications.

    With Givaudan, your consumers can enjoy that same ‘delicious taste’ but without added MSG.

    New umami capabilities and flavours for Europe

    Do you want to learn more about these capabilities?

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