Foods Rich in Umami Taste

A recent article, noting that monosodium glutamate (MSG) occurs naturally in many flavorful foods, poses the question, “How do you get free glutamates in your food naturally?”

The article, appearing in Business Insider, explains: “Monosodium glutamate is a powerful flavor enhancer that, despite what you may have heard, is widely accepted in the scientific community as a safe additive. In fact, MSG or other ‘free glutamates’ occur naturally in many of the most flavorful foods, some of which have been used to enhance flavor in cooking for millennia.”

Umami Seasoning Unlocking the savory taste known as umami.

And how does MSG make foods flavorful? Foods that are high in glutamate (glutamic acid, an amino acid that is part of many proteins) impart the umami taste.

The article notes that research has proven that MSG and glutamate-rich foods trigger special receptors in the mouth, “unlocking the savory taste known as umami.”

According to the Umami Information Center, here are some foods that are high in glutamate (in mg/100g), which therefore impart the umami taste. (Note: There are actually two forms of glutamate found in foods: bound and free. Since only free glutamate is effective in enhancing the flavor of food, the numbers above reflect only the amount of free glutamate for each food listed.):

Glutamate content of foods

Learn more:

This article is reprinted with permission from MSGdish.com (blog).

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