Mobile Nutrition Kitchen – Umami the 5th taste!

The mobile nutrition kitchen to your doorstep!


Umami – The fifth taste

The pleasant savoury taste, now known as umami, gained much fanfare and applause over the other four tastes – sweet, bitter, salty, and sour.

The umami taste was first discovered by a chemist, Ikeda from Tokyo University back in 1908, where he found a particular savoury taste in food ingredients like tomatoes, cheese, asparagus, mushrooms, kelp (konbu) and even meat. He eventually pinpointed it to glutamate, which is an amino acid, as the source of the savoury taste that we know of today and produced widely and patented to what we recognised as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Since then, more studies have been carried out and glutamate has been identified mostly found in kelp, tomatoes, seaweed, soy beans, and hard cheeses amongst other natural food ingredients. Of the highest sources of free glutamate are fresh tomatoes, kelp and breast milk.

Culinary Nutrition Series 1: Umami-ness!

In this culinary nutrition series, we showcase two aspects of the umami flavour to enhance the palatability of foods and good health:

  1. Natural ingredients containing various amounts of glutamate and if this creates different enhancement of that savoury taste when  cooking foods
  2. The use of one or combination of ingredients and its impact on the reduction of overall salt intake.

Let’s get cooking! – contact us for more details of our menu selection and ingredients facilitation sessions at 6282 2960 or [email protected] 



Kurihara K. Glutamate: From discovery as a food flavour to role as a basic taste (umami). Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(suppl):719S-722S.