Science Questions

Sun, 12th Feb 2006

Part of the show Science of Seduction, Pheromones and the Food of Love


Trevor in Essex asked:

What is the fifth taste you can sense on your tongue?


The fifth taste is umami. This has been known for a very long time in the East, and is called umami because the Japanese recognise it. It's only in the last 20 years that it's really been recognised in the West as well. Umami is the sense that is triggered by monosodium glutamate, which I'm sure you know is in soy sauce and food from Chinese restaurants. But most people don't realise what it really is. It's actually very common and is found in tomato puree and it's in parmesan cheese.


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