Medical Definition of Umami

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Umami: The taste of substances such as glutamate and monosodium glutamate (MSG) that are found in foods like bouillon and other stocks. Umami is the fifth primary element of taste. The other four are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It was discovered in 1907 by Kikunae Ikeda. Umami is the Japanese word for delicious flavor.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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