Expert voices

"Umami does not stick out with peaks, but has a harmonising effect and provides depth. This probably makes it the most pleasant taste."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Vilgis of the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany

"Our sensitivity to each and every taste has evolved for a reason. In the case of umami, it signals something essential for our diet – the presence of proteins, just as ‘sweet’ indicates ‘rich in energy’ and ‘bitter’ indicates ‘toxic’. The umami taste indicates their presence in a food and is therefore very beneficial."

Prof. Charles Spence, Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, England

"It’s interesting and striking that our taste buds for ‘sweet’ and ‘umami’ are similar – more precisely, 50 percent of their structure is identical. With respect to the taste ‘sweet’, it is assumed that there is distinctive innate preference, because babies react positively to it. The same might be true for ‘umami’. This could explain why foods with ‘umami’ taste are so popular."

Dr. Klaus Dürrschmid, Head of the Food Sensory Science Unit at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria