Talk:Umami/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Page move

I'm moving this page to Umami because Umami is the much more commonly used spelling. It gets 23,200 google hits and Umame gets only 917 [1] Nohat 02:11, 2004 Mar 22 (UTC)

It also doesn't say much for the spelling "umame" for the fact that 8 of the top 10 google hits for it are Wikipedia or Wikipedia mirrors. [2] Nohat 03:56, 2004 Mar 22 (UTC)


If I'm reading the article correctly, this isn't actually a taste in and of itself, but rather, a perception of the intensity of a taste.

So can it really be considered a separate flavor sensation at all?

I propose translating umami as zesty. And I claim there are six tastes, not five, oil being one of the six. lysdexia 16:32, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

To me umami does not taste zesty at all, its quite mellow, buy some MSG at an asian food market and see for yourself.

All the literature I've read suggests that its a basic taste, with its own taste receptors, and is not 'intensity' or 'zest'. I've never heard of taste receptors for oil. Maybe you could cite some research that supports your claims, since I can't find any.

--Johnkarp 00:17, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Speaking from the perspective of a Chinese and with the knowledge that umami is the equivalent of 鮮味 in Chinese, I must emphasise that umami is a separate taste. Think of it this way: the western taste description palette hits certain areas of the range of tastes but leaves out other actual tastes and senses behind. 鮮味 is one taste area that western mentality not only does not have a word for, but also does not have a concept for. This does not mean this taste does not exist. It's merely that western concepts have not captures that taste reality. Think of this analogy: there are certain tones and sounds producible with the western music scale but there are other tones and sounds that a western music scale cannot produce and does not capture those sounds. It doesn't mean those sounds do not exist. It merely means the sound scale used to name those sounds does not point to those sounds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Discovered or Described?

If umami is "considered basic" in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, then how can it have been "discovered" in 1907? The second statement implies that umami had not been much noticed by anyone, anywhere until 1907 -- and in conjunction, the two statments suggest that Umami was discovered by Kikunae Ikeda and, in the following 100 years, became so incredibly popular in Chinese and Japaneese cooking that it gained widespread acknowledgement as a fifth basic taste.

For all I know, something like that may be the case, but I am skeptical. Surly the taste was "discovered" by Japanese and Chinese cooks long ago, and then later formally or scientifically described as one of the five basic tastes by Kikunae Ikeda. Could someone who knows more than me about this clarify this article? Solemnavalanche 06:01, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Addendum: after some basic Wikipedia research, I realized that both I and the article were mistaken. "Umami" was not discovered in 1907; monosodium glutamate was. I've fixed the error. Solemnavalanche 07:56, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The taste has been "known" for thousands of years. It was only "discovered" in the chemical sense in 1908... It would be like, for example, everyone knows what chilli-taste is, but then one day someone isolates the acid responsible for it. It wouldn't be "discovering" the taste per se. Is there a better way to describe this process? --Sumple (Talk) 00:18, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
He "isolated" the taste? MMetro 20:55, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Controversial Link

The only cited link for this miracle new scientific discovery appears to be from a MSG Industry Pressure Group, spewing pro da about how MSG is really safe after all, honest guv. I'm not sure it's a reliable link at all. 12:24, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I can see that. I've replaced the link with some docs from UofM research, but on the bad side, I also put a link to umamiinfo, which possibly only exists to sell cookbooks. Please take a look at the links and edit as needed. --Mdwyer 13:36, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Argh... the more I look around, the more it stresses me out. We should just copy most of what is found in the basic taste and monosodium glutamate articles over here... --Mdwyer 13:56, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Change of number of basic tastes

I changed "5 basic tastes" to 7 because that's what it says in the general Basic Tastes article. --Coolbho3000 12:06, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Discovery of receptors section

"The researchers called 'taste-mGluR4'." is not a complete sentence.

I've just edited the sentence. Roaming27 05:36, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I deleted the part: "The discovery of the [umami] receptor is interesting especially since the receptor for bitter has not yet been identified." This for two reasons: I could not find any reference to this fact in the wikipedia basic tastes main article, and there were no outside referece to this claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

It's wrong as well - the bitter receptors are T2R receptors, and I think that means they identified the gene locus for them... Thanks for that. Why did you delete the 'what exactly is umami' external link though? --PhiJ 21:49, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

i re-deleted the part saying that the bitter receptor has not been identified as it says that it has been in the basic tastes main article under bitter. I know this isn't the most accurate way of comparing things, so if anyone can check whether there is proof that the bitter receptor has been discovered that would be helpful. Though on the otherhand it's best to leave it out altogether as its not relevant to the article and why is it interesting to people looking at unami? It suggests that bitter is a more important taste

T2R receptors are sweet taste receptors. -unsigned —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The T2R receptor is for bitter, according to this on [3] According to this on [4], umami is monosodium glutamate. Since everybody has heard of MSG, and since there are lot of myths about it (foodies claim to dislike it, while claiming to love umami) it seems this fact should be featured more prominently on the page. (talk) 22:35, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Edit summary mistake

When I wrote 'rv to version by' in my recent edit summary of the main umami page, I meant 'rv to version by'. Sorry. --PhiJ 21:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Removing 'negative effects' section

The two paragraphs of 'Negative effects' are lifted wholesale from the Excitotoxicity article. The negative effects of glutamate aren't really relevant to an article about the sensation of its flavor, so I've replaced them with a single sentance that just acknowleges that there are negative effects. --Dcfleck 17:03, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Uh oh, hrm there seems to be a discrepency and I didn't realize it was removed seriously, BUT this information is new to wikipedia and it needs a home. I'd like to find out where it goes rather than removing it from the books completely. Klichka (talk) 08:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Dcfleck. That section on "Negative effects" is inappropriate for the article on umami. Reviewing the published medical literature this morning, it is evident that a link to glutamate receptors is part of the umami sensation, but this does not imply high glutamate release that would be excitotoxic. The section should be deleted wholesale. Also, I would even dispute that a "negative effects" section should be associated with umami. There is no evidence I can see that strong umami sensation is associated with toxicity.
Klichka -- if you search Wikipedia for "neurotoxicity", there are many places where the glutamate work has been discussed similarly to the description in the umami article. Reviewing those links, one can conclude that this "Negative effects" section certainly does not belong here. --Paul144 (talk) 15:49, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
It's also discussed in the Monosodium Glutamate article, which is linked from here --PhiJ (talk) 16:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Wall Street Journal article: A New Taste Sensation

A New Taste Sensation. TfB (talk) 23:33, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

another umami

on huitlacoche, check (if u can read spanshit) [5] pinchi ranchero,--kiddo (talk) 00:44, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Or [6]--kiddo (talk) 00:48, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Even [7]. Conclusion: not all is McDonalds--kiddo (talk) 00:53, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

ATP as a Neurotransmitter?

Twice in this article on umami Adenosine TriPhosphate is implicated as a neurotransmitter. While ATP is of great importance in the cell, leave the cell it does not. Especially not to communicate with other cells in the body. I guess then my question would be: WTF? JMcCarthy53 (talk) 22:47, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

This article[8] proposed a new interpretation for how ATP would serve neurotransmitter roles.
Quoting the author's abstract, ".. cells responding to sweet, bitter, and umami taste stimuli do not possess synapses and instead secrete the neurotransmitter ATP via a novel mechanism not involving conventional vesicular exocytosis. ATP is believed to excite primary sensory afferent fibers that convey gustatory signals to the brain." ... and "ATP secreted from receptor cells also acts on neighboring taste cells to stimulate their release of serotonin."
Although unexpected roles for ATP, such evidence is consistent with how neurotransmitters convey signals. --Paul144 (talk) 23:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Purinergic receptors have now been characterised, which respond to ATP ( (talk) 08:38, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Umami as Kokutai (national characteristics ideology)

I think it would be worth mentioning in the article the notion of kokutai or national characteristics ideology. There are academics in Japan that spew propaganda that Japanese are a unique race. They will list examples such as having different intestines than Westerners (so they do not digest meat the same way), having different brains due to using kanji (Chinese) characters and having a fundamentally different temperment from Westerners becuase they live in a mushi atsui (hot and humid) climate.

Saying that the Japanese have a taste that Westerners don't have and so one must use the word umami is falling into the kokutai ideology. Umami is a savouriness with a Japanese PR team. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Or maybe Nihonjinron is more relevant here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


The claim that "umami" is a traditional concept/flavor in Japan (or "generally recognized") should be demonstrated by finding sources older than Ikeda (e.g., secondary sources about Japanese culture in the 19th century, such as Lafcadio Hearn).

This article and the one on savoriness read like infomercials from Ajinomoto, the Japanese company that manufactures MSG and has been promoting glutamates as "natural" for the past couple of decades. We see zero mention of risks or adverse effects, but even salt (a well-known naturally occurring substance) can be dangerous in certain quantities or under specific conditions.

According to a Japanese friend, Ajinomoto changed the name of their product from ""kagaku tyo^miryo^" (chemical condiment or seasoning) to "umami tyo^miryo^" during the past 20-25 years, suggesting that they are motivated to spin "umami" as universal and traditional.

I flagged the claim "generally recognized" in the lead, because the page on taste mentions a wide variety of gustatory sensations, suggesting that here is no definitive consensus on "five". Martindo (talk) 01:14, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

This page presents confused and confusing claims about the "long history" of umami. Even in Japan, the flavor was only identified 100 years ago by Ikeda (who should not be relied on too heavily, because he was eventually biased by his financial interests). If there was no word in common use -- and if the average person in most countries doesn't name "savory" as a specific "basic taste" -- then the claim of "generally recognized" is subjective and probably POV.

I would also like to see changes made to the basic tastes page, but first let's see what kind of consensus can be hashed out here. The page on traditional Chinese medicine mentions five basic tastes in passing. If I recall correctly, the fifth is spicy/pungent, not "savory". So, any references to "Eastern civilizations" agreeing on umami is grandiose if not inaccurate. Martindo (talk) 02:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Reversion of Chinese term removal

Badagnani reverted a few recent changes with comment "+Japanese and Chinese-specific information about this term of East Asian origin".

I object to this on many levels. First, not just the aspect mentioned in the comment were reverted, but other good changes were undone.

Secondly, the only information added was a Chinese translation which is irrelevant not just to the subject matter, but also to the etymology of the term, which is a Japanese loanword. The Chinese translation adds no useful information to this article, and is as relevant as translations in any other language would be. (talk) 01:30, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Badagnani, you have done it again. Can we please talk about it here? (talk) 21:45, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Can we get some people intimately familiar with Chinese language and cuisine to comment? I think the "lack of justification" citing "why not Korean or Russian" itself lacks justification. The claim that umami is a BASIC taste implies it is universal. If someone can confirm a close equivalent in Chinese (which shares a lot of culture with Japan), then that would support the claim of "basic".
FYI, Sanseido Japanese-English dictionary (1979 edition) defines "umami" as a NOUN, meaning "taste or flavor". As I mentioned under Traditional, this term seems not to have a long history in Japan as a word referring to a *specific* taste. That usage appears to be new, and seems to have been spun as a PR tool since the 1980s in Japan (and more recently in US). Martindo (talk) 02:10, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Rename, this neological term is highly promotional!

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 06:42, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

UmamiSavoriness — I have NEVER heard the term "Umami" used outside of a soy sauce advertisement. As far as I can tell, this term was introduced to the English speaking world as part of a soy sauce PR campaign. I would suggest that keeping this article here, under this non-English name, is providing free advertising for this firm, by spreading the use of their promotional neologism. I would suggest moving this page to Savoriness (already a redirect for this article), in the interests of non-promotion, using English titles and Calling a spade a spade. If "Savoriness" isn't a perfect English translation of this invented term, find a better translation! There are many terms that do not translate perfectly between languages. WuhWuzDat 16:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose rationale Google disagrees: [9], [10], [11]. Seems well-enough established for use in Wikipedia to me; it's used in several article titles in Cell after all. The word may have originated in an advertising PR campaign; Wikipedia doesn't care, provided it is used in reliable sources for the concept under discussion. There may be other, better reasons for a move, but these need to be enumerated. --MegaSloth (talk) 17:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
    • See WP:ENGLISH. WuhWuzDat 06:47, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
      • You completely misunderstand WP:UE. This is a word regularly used in English-language publications and the English language is nothing more than what is written in English language texts. To say that a word regularly used by English speakers when writing English is not English is linguistic prescriptivism, and nothing more. Knepflerle (talk) 09:38, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - continuing the proposer's model of calling a spade a spade, the move proposal is simply wrong. Umami has a wide existence, in English, outside soy sauce commercials - just for a start, we have over 5,000 uses in papers on Google Scholar (starting with PNAS, Science (journal) and Cell (journal)). This shows not just non-advertising usage, but also that the claim of "non-Englishness" is unfounded. The equivalent search for savoriness however shows scant usage relatively. Knepflerle (talk) 21:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Notice the use of "umami" here. Bus stop (talk) 21:38, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Notice the use of "Savory" as an English alternative, in the very first sentence of Professor Jacobs reply. See also WP:ENGLISH. WuhWuzDat 06:47, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
      • See above for my comment on this incorrect interpretation of WP:UE Knepflerle (talk) 09:39, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment...has anyone here ever taken a bite of a nice prime rib (or substitute your favorite meat), and thought "Ooh, That tastes so Umami"? I didn't think so! Now, what about using "savory" in that same sentence, instead of "Umami"? (vegetarians need not reply). WuhWuzDat 06:47, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Partially agree - The prevalence of hits on the web proves nothing about daily use of the word in English, only the ability of web sources to echo each other. The term was hardly in use in Japan before 1980. Well-known Japanese-English dictionary Sanseido translates umami as a NOUN: taste, flavor (1979 edition and unchanged in latest edition). So, if this word means "flavor" in general, how can anyone logically claim that it means "one of the five basic tastes"? The reason I only partially agree with the proposed change is that my English dictionary defines savory as "belonging to a category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet". So, if umami is not a SPECIFIC flavor in Japanese, and savory is not a SPECIFIC flavor in English, does the term umami belong anywhere in wikipedia at all, other than as a footnote or artifact? Martindo (talk) 07:25, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
    • The argument about web searches is entirely specious - it was a search of scholarly articles which have an existences outside the internet. The widespread use shows an established understanding of this term in the English language scientific community at least, and this is no mere internet phenomenon. The etymological argument is just as weak - words do not necessarily exactly retain their meanings when they are borrowed. When borrowed into English it acquired a far more specific and restricted meaning than it had in its source language. This is a very common phenomenon - compare the definitions of gestalt in and English-only and German-English dictionaries, likewise dressage from French. It's clearly a notable topic - it's far from unlikely that one of our readers could come across one of the many mentions of umami in any one of the high-profile journals mentioned above, and they should be able to come here and find out more about it. Knepflerle (talk) 09:51, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Good counter-argument, but (1) language usually evolves on its own without being pushed, thus "common usage" is an ideal rule of thumb, if it can be ascertained reliably, and (2) there are plenty of REDIRECTs in WP (input "USA" in the search field, for example), so your argument only indicates the topic should be searchable, not the title of the page. Martindo (talk) 10:28, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I (strongly) agree that should not be used to push language evolution, but the process of semantic drift has already finished in this case. Umami is common usage - just check the searches I did which found far greater use of "umami" than "savoriness". For non-technical use, see the 38 uses in The Times and 430 in the New York Times going back to 1983, including examples like these two where the term is used without any further explanation or "translation" - it is assumed the word is understood by the reader. Knepflerle (talk) 12:12, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Calling it "savoriness" would be calling an entrenching tool a spade. "Savoriness" is an approximation of the meaning of this taste. (talk) 08:54, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose this term may be a recent arrival in English, and it may still be relatively obscure, but it has arrived, and I have seen it more than advertisements. "Savoriness" appears to be only an approximate equivalent, so this proposed move appears to be an anti-loanword POV. PatGallacher (talk) 12:04, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Interestingly it's not that recent; the OED has recorded use of the term in English in 1979 - thirty years of use is hardly ancient history, but it's far from the latest buzzword either. Knepflerle (talk) 12:16, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Comment: in the August 2008 Scientific American magazine print edition:
"The Elusive Umami: Although it was discovered a century ago, umami still struggles for acceptance as the fifth basic taste the tongue recognizes. The term is Japanese for "savory" or "deliciousness." It is typically applied to meats, cheeses, broth and other protein-heavy foods to describe their hearty nature. The sensation may be more subtle than salty or sweet, but researchers maintain it is unique and not a combination of any of the other basic tastes."
The name of the article that I find this in is "Magnifying Taste." Bus stop (talk) 15:42, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Comment: Scientific American should have obtained a Sanseido dictionary because they didn't translate correctly. See first citation on the article's page as of this writing. This error is perhaps typical of the topic's confusion of language, physiology, psychology, and philosophy (if something was "discovered" a century ago, how basic can it be in terms of human concepts of taste?)
I would be more impressed by number of researchers than number of articles. FYI, I have a friend who was part owner of an MSG factory in Indonesia and told me quite openly that he paid a scientist to write articles as he requested, in order to publicize the NON-harmfulness of glutamates. Diversity of authors is probably a better guide than proliferation of articles, but that's just my opinion.
Finally, NYT is hardly a guide to common use of a word, though I grant that they are trend-setters in their cuisine section. Japanese themselves didn't use umami much before about 25 years ago -- see Talk topic "Traditional?" (two sections above this) regarding the renaming of MSG in Japanese around that time to include the word "umami". Martindo (talk) 02:18, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The only unambiguous way to say it in English, and the correct term of art as used by scientists studying flavour. (The fact that I do sometimes slurp broth and say "Ooh the umami"! is perhaps just a sign of my pretension). William Avery (talk) 12:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - it is the accepted term for savoriness; I have seen it used numerous times in television show, newspaper and web articles on the subject. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 18:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Molecular approach to the topic.....

-- (talk) 09:30, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Molecular comparison of various extracts from Yeast, Citrus, propolis etc and more....

-- (talk) 09:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand. You added an empty section to the article with an edit summary suggesting you have explained your reasons here on the talk page. All I see is two external links; one to a Google search for Umami and Molecular resulting in 13 hits; and the other to a patent application for taste improving agent(s). There is no indication in your comment above, why either of these links is relevant.
What you should be doing is either:
  • Writing a whole new section in the article (using your own words) and supporting what you have written by references in reliable sources, quite possibly including those pages you have linked to above; or if you are unsure
  • Proposing a new section for the article by discussing it here on the talk page first, supporting your proposal by guiding other editors to the correct places in the the links you have provided above and explaining why it is an improvement to the article.
Remember, Wikipedia is a collabrative volunteer effort. Leaving a blank section in the article and a couple of unexplained links here does not help anyone, or explain why you think it is important. Astronaut (talk) 18:05, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Why exactly is it that the English Wikipedia uses a Japanese loanword as the main topic article of a sense of taste which the majority of all native English speakers know as "savory"? Never in my life have I heard the word "umami", until finding this page here. Why go about using a loanword when there's a suitable enough English word already? PaZuZu 13:14, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

It's because that's the word that's already used in the science. (Ever heard of Google?) It would be inappropriate for Wikipedia articles to invent terminology. Are you idiot or what? -- 17:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Although I disagree with the original point, it seems a valid issue to bring up. Insults are inappropriate; let's at least try to keep this forum civil. --Anonymous 18:00, 8 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Savory is not an exact enough meaning to mean specifically basic taste. Many not umami-sensations color the word "savory". The disambiguation page is good enough. --Jonathan Williams 19:41, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
And as far as I know, you could get Umami sensors activated when you eat soy sauce for example. Same thing goes for some seaweed if I understand the article correctly. I've seen umami been used outside this article also, think it was in a science magazine. Anyway, I'd rather keep it like it is. There's plenty of loan words in the English language, so another one wouldn't change anything. Like ombudsman or smorgasbord... =) -- 01:09, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Just for reference, there has been a bit of a discussion of this issue over on the basic taste talk page (which has now been merged with taste - the link is to an archive of the page). --PhiJ 16:58, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

If Umami is the same as 鮮味 in Chinese, then I must strongly, strongly emphasise that Umami is NOT the same as savoury. 鮮味 is NOT the same as savoury. It is much more than that. 鮮味 comes from a taste description palette that is not used at all in western mentality. 鮮味 includes a kind of freshness to flavour, lightness to flavour, and a kind of sensual experience that Chinese would call clarity and purity of taste. -- (talk) 01:20, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest an English translation for the word. I believe savoury works very well, from reading it. The issue in the original post, a non-English word among English words, should be addressed. It is not that loanwords are not a positive, it is that the top words, Sweetness, Bitterness, Sourness, Saltiness, are words that English speaking people can read and understand. If you see "Sourness", you can taste it. "Umami" as a descriptor does not work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

I accept that the title of this article is not going to change. But if we go to the Japanese article on the various tastes humans can experience, they will not use "sweet" or "salty", they will use the Japanese words for these tastes. This is totally appropriate, it's a Japanese article. Why then should Umami be used in an English article when an appropriate English word (Savory) exists?--RLent (talk) 16:09, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I have a hard time accepting the title not changing. There's no reason for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
The whole idea sounds a bit like bull to me, but that's just my take. I don't know if you would call it Nihonjinron or just a a buzzword, but that's beside the point. Anyhow, even though I doubt whether or not this is real, I don't think Wikipedia is the appropriate place to come up with a name for it. As others have pointed out the word is not easily conveyed in English by just one word, so unless there is some decent source available that has given it an official English name, I think we're stuck with it.--Col.clawhammer (talk) 04:29, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

This is the actual official word. Take it up with scientists/researchers if you don't like it, not a wikipedia talk page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps, but it's not the English word. Take the other tastes, in languages other than English, they will use the word in their own language, and not the "official" word.--RLent (talk) 16:16, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should go back to calling pajamas night-clothes, verandas and lanais porches, and jodhpurs riding-breeches. Would that shut you up? The Japeroos discovered it, they get to name it. Totally different from sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. No one can claim to have discovered those. Jeepers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

A call for deep study of vegetable or algae broth associated.....

-- (talk) 09:34, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 09:41, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 09:44, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

the extracts, especially from

-- (talk) 10:04, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

with bamboo shoot (optional) -- (talk) 10:12, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

It can not be denied that the dishes of the above three in conbination with the bamboo shoot are very delicious. Why not to extract their brothes-- (talk) 10:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Japanese Characters

The proper Japanese Kanji for umami taste is うま味. This is how professor Ikeda wrote it in his description to distinguish umami basic taste from good taste that is 旨味. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amtsga (talkcontribs) 15:38, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


Savouriness redirects here, yet there is no explanation about how these two terms are related. I believe whenever there is a redirect, the redirected term is supposed to feature in bold in the lead (see WP:R#PLA). Here it is barely even mentioned in the article.

I am not an expert in the subject matter, but this is Wikipedia, not Nerdopedia. It is supposed to explain stuff in an accessible way. If 99% of people cannot distinguish the concepts of savouriness and umami, and only a small number of umamologists understand the difference, then we should say so in the lead. On the other hand, if the two concepts are so different, then surely we should have two articles - and still explain the relationship between the two.

Thanks. (talk) 08:27, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. (talk) 14:42, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Umami receptors in the stomach

The section of umami receptors in the stomach was erased because it did not seem relevant to umami taste itself. This would be more appropriate to discuss on a different topic such us the physiological effect of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amtsga (talkcontribs) 07:44, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Umami versus savoriness

The term umami was born from the scientific contribution of doctor Kikunea Ikeda who not only proposed for the first time the existence of a fifth basic taste but also isolated glutamate as the component of seaweed responsible for this taste. The term savoriness came later when there was a need to translate the concept of umami and was borrowed from savory. Savory contains a more general meaning that umami because it does not specifically refers only to the fifth basic taste but the overall taste of a dish. Since umami was recognized as the scientific term to described the fifth basic taste it has been widely used in the scientific and gastronomic community. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amtsga (talkcontribs) 05:19, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Excuse me? "the term savoriness came later...?" Are you kidding me? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary-the term was first used in the 1970s!

Any real study of the development of this term will show that the term "savory" and "savoriness" have been in use since way before Mr. Ikeda was even a twinkle in his father's eye! Even a simple understanding of the development of the term "savoriness" shows that the term has been in wide use since the Roman Republic and before (Middle English savure, from Old French savoure, past participle of savourer, to taste, from Late Latin sapōrāre, from Latin sapor, flavor.)

I can't believe that if the vast majority of the population (both within the scientific/gastronomic community and without) use the far older and far more widely accepted term "savory" to describe a taste phenomenon, Wikipedia should be so politically correct as to accept "umami" as the new standard/term just because the "First Umami International Symposium" says it is so! "Officially recognized?" By whom? And under what authority? Said symposium alone (whose sole stated purpose was to do just that?) What a crock!

The title of this article should be "Savory" and "Umami" should redirect here, not the other way around. (talk) 01:42, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Read more:

Indeed: where is Umami in the above dictionary entry? If it is an "officially recognized term," shouldn't dictionaries do what Wikipedia now preposterously does and "correct" the "misconception" (held by 99% of the world's population, no less!) that the actual term is "umami" and not "savory?" Merriam-Webster states that "umami" means "savoriness" but "savory" doesn't yet mean "umami!" states that, far from being "officially recognized," it is "sometimes" used to identify a fifth taste group:

and there's NOTHING at all about "umami" at Houghton Mifflin:

Ha! Another attempt for PC-ness to trump fact here at Wikipedia. (talk) 01:46, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Very well stated. I am baffled by this drive for Umami on Wikipedia that I have seen only on a few esoteric cooking sites and nowhere else. Savory is the term. It's always been the term. And it's an English term, and this is an English Wikipedia entry. Is the point of Wikipedia to change existing language conventions? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 2 June 2011 (UTC)


I agree with other posts on this page that "savoriness" should be the page name. Notwithstanding, I don't understand the first paragraph's emphasis on the use of kana for "umami". I've not read Ikeda-sensei's white paper wherein the term was coined, but i can guarantee that 甘み and 甘味 are commonly-used orthographies to render "umami", meaning the savory taste of glutamates, with kanzi. "Umai", the stem from which the compound word "umami" is drawn, can be spelt many different ways, so the assertion that kanzi cannot be used for the "uma" in "umami", because 旨味 (also read "umami") has a different meaning than the flavour, is incorrect. The text should be changed to delete the unnecessary introductory plug for Ikeda-sensei, and the Japanese rendering should be updated to reflect the commonly-used all-kanzi rendering of "umami", 甘味. It is simply mistaken to say that only うま味 can be used. (talk) 08:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: withdrawn by nominator - non-admin close. Miracle Pen (talk) 12:05, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

UmamiUmami (taste) –. The name of the title would be more clear because without the added word "taste" there is no meaning to those not familiar with "Umami", which is supposedly one of "five basic tastes: sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness, and umami." The Japanese loan word would be more meaningful with (taste) added, especially since this is the "English Wikipedia". Otr500 (talk) 04:51, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose. No need for disambiguation since no page has same name. The article should serve the purpose of informing the reader of what this unheard-of term is. Unless the nominator should propose that all links to Umami should be made Umami (taste) as well, I believe the argument has no validity. Pascal Hacutin (talk) 08:57, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The purpose of title disambiguation is... to disambiguate. There's nothing to disambiguate, and so there's no need for a dab in the title. Title dabs are not somewhere to add handy auxiliary information about a topic - title dabs only exist so that different articles can have different URLs. Miracle Pen (talk) 12:26, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pascal Hacutin and Miracle Pen. There is no need for disambiguation. Jenks24 (talk) 13:30, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Disambiguators are intended to disambiguate when multiple articles exist with the same name. This is not the case here, so disambiguation is unnecessary. --DAJF (talk) 01:12, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No need for parenthetical disambiguation. –CWenger (^@) 05:19, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We don't disambiguate as a kind of "explanation" or hint. Proper categorization and linking will fix the "problem". HandsomeFella (talk) 19:58, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per every stated comments above. Yours faithfully, Kotakkasut. 13:23, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose now: Per every stated comment above. I didn't think about disambiguation either. Another day--another thing learned. Well at least it can be closed in a little while. Otr500 (talk) 01:49, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Serious problems

There are several problems with this article. It is more confusing than informative but the first "major" problem is a drive to replace common words with less common, relatively new, and self proclaimed "scientific" words. The article states, "the term Umami was officially recognized as the scientific term to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides".
Savory (Am-E) and Savoury (Br-E) redirects to an unnecessary disambiguation page that includes; "Savoriness (a type of taste)", that redirects to this article. Umami is a scientific name that the general population will have no idea about but the lead states, " popularly referred to as savoriness". Popularly referred to by whom? Certainly not the general population in the United States and possibly British countries. Savory is a very common word in the US and a redirect, be it an attempt at a push to further a word or some other reason, is not acceptable. According to the article the definition of the Japanese loanword umami would be; "meaning "pleasant savory taste.". This is an English encyclopedia and in English a good word for savory is---savory. It does not require any extra words and certainly not a word that includes in the definition the word it is intended to replace. I do not believe that any that speak the English language needs a redirect to a Japanese loanword to explain or define our words. There is a reference, the Japanese Patent office, from 2002 that referred to umami as delicious. A problem is that there are words (as adjectives) such as delicious and savory (savoury) in the English language. :A redirect from savory to Savoriness, by dictionary definitions, still means savory. Some synonyms of savory (;
  • 1)- Agreeable: to one's liking; pleasing; agreeable manners; an agreeable sensation. "An experience he savored for the remainder of his life.", "The food was so good he savored it to the last bite".
  • 2)- Ambrosial: exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; especially delicious or fragrant.
  • 3)- Palatable: acceptable or agreeable to the palate or taste; savory.
  • 4)- Delectable: delightful; highly pleasing; enjoyable.
I don't see where it is scientifically understood that the word savory means umami but I do know this is not a reason to redirect a very common word (several) to a less known and fairly new scientific word.
There is also the fact that the article is confusing. Something that is palatable is savory, but the section, Properties of umami taste states, " Umami has a mild but lasting after taste difficult to describe. ", " It induces salivation..." (mouth watering), and " By itself, umami is not palatable, but it makes a great variety of foods pleasant especially in the presence of a matching aroma. ". A food that tastes fantastic (agreeable, delectable, delicious and certainly palatable), that would cause one to want to hold it in the mouth a few moments (mouthwatering), is palatable and very savory so this is confusing. Why is umami hard to describe? Things that are sweet, sour, bitter and salty are not hard to describe or understand. From the article, "The optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt" means what? The article explains that salt (a certain amount) affects the optimum taste but states, "and at the same time, low-salt foods can maintain a satisfactory taste with the appropriate amount of umami"). Having "low salt" has some affect with an appropriate amount of umami. This gives the impression that salt (covered by another basic taste) has some bearing on umami. If this is so then there needs to be a section on this and the relationship explained as well as more concerning the statement, "...umami is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range." Also, "In fact, Roinien et al. showed that ratings on pleasantness, taste intensity and ideal saltiness of low salt soups were greater when the soup contained umami.
It is alright for those that want to use a scientific word to describe a common usage word. It is not acceptable to change (redirect) a word that has common usage to a scientific word (fairly new in use), that in effect attempts to render a common word obsolete, but uses the same word as part of the definition. This article needs help from an expert to be less confusing.

Name change, drop the redirect, or both?

This article needs serious work and I will support any editor wishing to take a stab at corrections. original research like, " popularly referred to as savoriness" needs to be addressed, since not one of the 5 references address this.

I find it appalling and ridiculous that a very common word, used in both AmE and BrE, be redirected to an uncommon, and relatively new (we are not in Asia or Japan), scientific word. Some of the references for the article infer authority in defining the word ("You say savory, I say umami"), but I can not find where the "senior technical editor", Frances Katz, is a renown expert in the field of umami or that he is a doctor or scientist. There was an explanation in his article that makes some sense, "...identification of a protein-based savory flavor...".

Does this make sense?

I am still trying to connect that umami could be a technical or scientific synonym for savor, savory (savoury), or savoriness. To state that umami is savoriness is to suggest that something with the right amount of salt, sugar, spices, etc., but containing no umami, could not be savory. Try this example out, "That first cup of coffee this morning was so good I umamied every drop". I could have "savored" every drop except Wikipedia allowed the meaning to be changed. Umami will not become a common use word to replace savory and attempts to do so need to be reverted. A name change to Umami (taste), or Umami (sense of taste) should be explored. Otr500 (talk) 01:01, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Savoriness is not an equivalent word for the loan word umami. See [12] and [13]. I'd like to know if there is an en noun meaning the tastes of glutamic acid, inosinic acid and guanosine monophosphate. I think umami is a part of savoriness. I'm afraid it is clear that you don't know/understand what actually umami is. The palatability of coffee has nothing to do with umami as coffee has only 1% amino acid [14]. In ja, there is no verb form of umami. You don't understand the ja language and to understand the meaning by a literal translation is not right. And coffee is tasty without sugar and salt(!). Unlike the others, umami itself is a very subtle taste, we have the umami receptors though [15], and in fact, I didn't understand it as a child. You'll never know the taste unless you try non-artificial genuine fresh dashi. See also [16], [17], [18]. Oda Mari (talk) 09:19, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. Then you agree with my comments that the article needs work and the improper redirects corrected? Your reply is exactly what my concern is about. I may have to try dashi to to experience "true unami" but I do not have to consume unami to experience savoriness. Would you agree that food does not have to contain unami to be mouthwatering, delicious, and savory? If you agree with this then the words in question; savory, savoriness, etc... are improperly redirected to unami. My example that included coffee is to show that the redirected word "savory", as the redirects as well as parts of the article implies, are interchangeable and not synonyms and I will argue this to the 10th degree. Your reference, [19] (number 8,) lists savouriness (savoury) twice, good flavor once, delicious (and savoury), deliciousness, the Japanese word for perfection, or the fifth taste as it relates to food, and as a distinct taste, as evidence that there are many words used to describe umami. There was no comment but I still feel the suggested name change to Umami (taste), or Umami (sense of taste) is more appropriate to Wikipedia. Otr500 (talk)

I figured exploring would be better than attaching a lot of tags of which may be sure to come without improvements. I am not arguing that there is not a taste called "unami". I haven't looked and you may be an expert, but re-read the article and my concerns. This is an encyclopedia for learning. If I do not know something I look it up. When I find the information it must be written so I can comprehend it. Here is an example: "You'll never know the taste unless you try non-artificial genuine fresh dashi". If someone tries dashi, finds it delectable, but does not know about the word "unami", then they can not possibly know that they have experienced unami, even though they did. The English language has thousands of words that can be used to help a reader understand the experience of unami so the editor must find some of these words that will make the article and definition more clear. Redirecting a common word (words) to allow for exposure of this scientific word means the title is not clear. This is why I suggested exploring a title change to "Umami (taste)", or "Umami (sense of taste)" and the proper category placements. You stated, "Savoriness is not an equivalent word for the loan word umami", and I agree but the definition, along with the redirects, beg to differ. Umami is a loanword from the Japanese umami meaning "pleasant savory taste". The subject is "taste" and the words pleasant savory modify this. Help me out and see if some changes can be made to make the article easier to understand for the general population. You state that I don't understand so help me, and others. Lets not forget the rules concerning original research such as popularly referred. I have stated concerns and I can tag all these or someone can help me out since I do not "understand". You stated, "I think umami is a part of savoriness", and this may be true but considering the redirects it is inferred that unami is savoriness and I disagree. Unami is a taste right? It may be a savory taste but still a taste. There would be argument that one may not find unami savory. Salty is salty, regardless of the likes or dislikes of someone experiencing the taste, and the same with sweet, bitter etc...

  • So what exactly is unami? "... pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range.", " lasting after-taste difficult to describe", "By itself, umami is not palatable...", "optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt", and we are to know that it has "possible" medical benefits to the elderly, "the elderly, may benefit from umami taste because their taste and smell sensitivity is impaired by age and multiple medications.", but it is not clear why. One of the references made the comment, "...identification of a protein-based savory flavor...", so does this have anything to do with umami?
  • Here is some scientific sounding words that need clarification, " Umami represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5’-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP). Now we are getting somewhere, except; "meals that combined umami with salty, sour, sweet and bitter tastes", gives a little confusion. Salt apparently has an effect on the "optimum" umami taste and umami can be combined with other tastes. Otr500 (talk)

What is umami?

"The sensation of umami is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamate.", so I looked these up. They are glutamates and glutamic acid (natural) and are responsible for the umami taste. According to Kikunae Ikeda umami has an "ineffable but undeniable flavor...". Whew! this means that there are not enough words to give meaning to umami since the definition of ineffable is, incapable of being expressed or described in words or inexpressible. If this is true then someone has their work cut out for them for we now have a new 5th taste that can not be described or defined but some members of the scientific community support.

  • Please understand that I am not trying to be difficult. You stated, "I'm afraid it is clear that you don't know/understand what actually umami is.", and I am saying, "Someone explain it so I can understand it.". Your example (number 3 above); here, that is suppose to explain the equivalence between umami and savory, and states, "English words that have been suggested as equivalents (equal not the same), such as savoury", also explains that western food scientists are divided about whether it really exists or not.. This is inconsistent with part of the article, "Now it is widely accepted as the fifth basic taste.", and as per Wikipedia policy concerning neutral point of view should be included (if the source is acceptable) to address this. Neutrality must be adhered to and this is not evident in the article. Of the three core content policies verifiability, original research (lead sentence), and NPOV this article has severe issues concerning all three. Otr500 (talk)

Why is savory still in this article?

Multiple users have made overwhelming arguments to remove "savory=umami" equivalencies from this article yet they the detriment and confusion of all readers. I just finished reading the main entry and was so confused I came to this section to find out what the truth was. Clearly, English lexicographers do not see the common usage of "savory" being related to umami. That day may come. But until then this ENCYCLOPEDIA entry needs to stick to commonly understood meanings of words or else put the words with newly made up meanings in "quotations" <-- like that. And that needs to be done immediately. N0w8st8s (talk) 20:56, 10 September 2011 (UTC)n0wa8st8s

History section

Who is German chemist Karl Heinrich Leopold Ritthausen? According to the article Glutamic acid he "discovered and identified" the substance in 1866, 41 years before Kikunae Ikeda but there is no mention of this. There is also no mention of Saburosuke Suzuki II and the company Ajinomoto Co., Inc.[1][2] that he founded to market monosodium glutamate (MSG) with Kikunae Ikeda as a partner. Otr500 (talk)

Lead section

The lead section needs to be expanded following the guidelines. A paragraph of a section that is farther down under "Discovery of umami taste" might be better in the lead or higher up at any rate.

  • "This synergy of umami provides an explanation for various classical food pairings, starting with why Japanese make dashi with kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes, and continuing with various other dishes: Chinese add Chinese leek and cabbage with chicken soup, as in the similar Scottish dish of cock-a-leekie soup, and Italians combine Parmesan cheese on tomato sauce with mushrooms. The umami taste sensation of those ingredients mixed together surpasses the taste of each one alone."
  • These are my opinions, and I have not spent a lot of time on research, but much of what I have written is supported by WP:Policies and guidelines so I hope at least considered. Otr500 (talk) 03:38, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't mind changing the article name to Umami (taste) and I think the article needs work too. Though WP is not a RS, I think the definition of umami at Wikt is good. wikt:Umami The definition of the word in a ja dictionary is the original page and the translation. IMHO, umami is an important element to make some dishes tasty by adding richness or deepness to the taste of the dishes. Maybe you can recognize umami in simple chicken stock, instead of dashi. Try to make chicken stock only with chicken meat/bone and remove fat as possible. Then taste it without salt first like a sommelier tastes wine. Though there are gelatin and other extracts dashi doesn't contain, the stock has three amino acids I mentioned above and of course it tastes different from water. Then add some salt and taste it. Kombu dashi does not contain fat, gelatin, nor protein but minerals and it tastes simpler and thinner than chicken stock, looks like water, but it makes dishes more yummy than water. I have no idea when and who started to use dried kombu for dashi. They just knew it made dishes delicious by experience. As for "Western food scientists are divided about whether it really exists or not", it's understandable as taste is very subjective and umami is a subtle taste. I know what's umami like by my tongue, but it's very difficult to explain about umami to readers who have not recognized umami. Why don't you be bold and edit the article? If I find something wrong, I'll point it out. Oda Mari (talk) 10:26, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I just think that adding "taste" or "sense of taste" will give understanding to the word. I do not mind editing the article but I am working on the "grasp" if you know what I mean. I live in Louisiana, in the Cajun heartland, so I understand the importance of enhancing taste. We use a seasoning called Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning that contains wheat, soy, and/or milk, along with salt, red pepper, black pepper, spiced chili powder (a mixture with chili peppers, other spices, salt and garlic powder), and garlic on many dishes and we also use a Cajun roux. I understand about the chicken stock very well. We use beef and chicken bouillon cubes that contains monosodium glutamate and wheat, and we also use gyoza sauce. I love certain Japanese as well as Chinese dishes because of the fantastic taste except we don't eat rice not smothered in gravy.

I have been researching and have to check the reliability of references. One of the references concerning Saburosuke Suzuki II is from the Ajinomoto Co., Inc web site (history section) and I wanted to find corroborating information. I also found one reference on German chemist Karl Heinrich Leopold Ritthausen but a lot of information is on non-acceptable and mirror sites. This will take a while because I am working on a few things already and I would like there to be an article on "Savory" (or savoriness). If I do edit and there is a mistake (since I still breath I am good at that) or something is wrong either correct it or take it out. There will be no edit war with collaboration and we can discuss reasoning and adding it back or not on the talk page. The discussed, "Western food scientists are divided about whether it really exists or not", is an opposing view and is actually very important for the article for NPOV. It is not relevant why they disagree but if this can be found with a source that is all the better and will prevent a tag. "Western" sources being cited is also good. I have found one from "Colorado State University[3] that should have relevant information. Dr. Paul Breslin[4] is a sensory geneticist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia is involved in studies of Umami. I will put a hidden note on the article that collaboration is underway for improvements which might possibly stem any fly-by tagging. Otr500 (talk) 17:24, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

"Oda Mari", I think "Umami (taste) would be better than the current title. If there are no objections, and since you "don't mind changing the article name", I would suggest this would be a major improvement. Otr500 (talk) 16:14, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Then ask at WP:REQMOVE? As I said before, I don't mind at all, but do not know what other editors think. BTW, it's not fresh dashi, but if you are really interested in dashi, I think it might be helpful to try this instant dried tofu to know the taste of Japanese dashi. You can cook it easily. See this. Oda Mari (talk) 19:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

It can be done that way or with no objections (none so far) can be boldly changed. If someone objects (or reverts) then it can go to "REQMOVE". I am not proficient at doing this and the redirects but can try. Otr500 (talk) 00:12, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I will attempt to seek a name change.

What was the 5th taste before Umami, and how did Umami come to be?

I'm confused on when or why Umami was formed and what it replaced and why it replaced it. What is the story behind all this anyway? I never learned about Umami in school (it was a while ago) and have only known savoury. I have seen this huge uproar on Wikipedia about savoury vs. Umami, or even on the word Umami itself being acceptable as a loan word. This whole debate, its defenders and its attackers, is baffling. Something so polarizing is amazing! Where did this come from?!? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

A plausible clarification of Umami

The Umami entry has stirred some discussion. Perhaps a the the wording below could help the understanding of umami

Taste is a characteristic of chemical compositions and associated with food. (However, non foods have tastes too!). Specifically taste is a result of in impulse from a specific receptor in the nervous system. Formerly, tastes where classified as salty, sour, bitter, or sweet which are attributed to different “taste” receptor cells. Today there is a fifth taste called savoriness and sometimes referred to umami (a Japenese word roughly meaning savory). Technically, in order to truly be classified as a specific taste, a specific chemical receptor must be identified that triggers the taste. In the case of umami, the sense of the taste is a result of more than one mechanism and receptor cell, but as such is still identified as a unique taste. The chemical activity resulting in the umami taste is associated with L-glutamate (in acidic and salt forms). ( Brand, J.G. “Receptor and Transduction Processes for Umami Taste.” The Journal of Nutrition. 2000. WEB. 12 Sept 2011.

 Li, Xiaodng. “T1R resceptors mediate mammalian sweet and umami taste.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 90 no. 3. Sept 2009. WEB. 12 Sept 2011.)

Taste receptors are located inside the taste buds which are found in the tongue, soft palate, upper esophagus, and epiglottis...

This just a thought that may help in clarifying and validating umami as a test. Yes, there appears to be scientific proof of a specific taste mechanism for umami which earn it the 5th taste classification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TexasBruin (talkcontribs) 21:09, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Is it really a taste?

I only heard of Umami recently, and I came to this article looking for clarification. I don't find it very helpful. There seems in fact to be a controversy, not referred to in the article, over whether Umami is a basic 'taste' at all: for example see this: The fact (if it is a fact) that the tongue has specific receptors for Umami does not prove that it is a taste in the same sense as sweet, salty, sour and bitter. On the other hand, the fact that a taste is difficult to describe doesn't mean it isn't really a taste, because ultimately any sensation can only be exemplified, not described. But in the case of Umami there seems to be a real difficulty in giving an example of a 'pure' Umami taste. Some say it is the taste of monosodium glutamate, while others deny that MSG has a taste at all. It's all very confusing. (talk) 14:49, 2 December 2011 (UTC) Added: I bought some MSG to try it for myself. I would describe it (taken neat on the tongue) as tasting like a weak meat extract - slightly salty and not very pleasant. (talk) 19:42, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

There is a lot of controversy about the name. It has been allowed (by uncontested edits) that "savory" and other very common and unambiguous words are being redirected to this article.
  • I think the issue of taste verses flavor needs to be included in the article. One does not need to smell (basic to flavor) salt to know that is is salty. There is no controversy concerning things that are sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. I have been trying to get a handle on this for a while. I don't care if there is a 5th taste because someone discovered it so it is now fact. Savory here in the south means the seasoning is perfect not umami.
I live in Louisiana in the heart of Creole or Cajun country. Since somewhere in the early 18th century we have used a spicy herb we call filé that is derived from the sassafras tree and ground up to make filé powder. The article gumbo states there are three different types of gumbo including an African version. We do not use this classification. A gumbo is made using a rue and a gumbo can use almost any type of meat including squirrel and rabbit (meat gumbo) or can be a seafood gumbo. A gumbo made with okra, regardless of the meat, would use the word okra such as "chicken and okra" gumbo. A filé gumbo uses the herb and is distinct but many still use filé in gumbos or okra gumbos to enhance the flavor. The flavor is what I am referring to and is unique. It is considered very savory but I can assure you that no one in this part of the country will ever refer to a fantastic bowl of filé gumbo as being very umami. I made comments concerning the redirects but it was archived. We also use a creole seasoning that contains "NO MSG" made by Tony Chachere's. Many use this to enhance food flavor and in many homes and restaurants it is a staple. The taste is unique and savory.
Apparently the word savory has to be used to give association to the word umami. I do not have a problem with that and the discussion just ended but I will seek to change the redirect of the word savory from umami. I feel it is wrong and a push that is not warranted. I not only feel it is an unjustified push but is an injustice period.
  • From;
  • savory:
1    [sey-vuh-ree] Show IPA adjective, -vor·i·er, -vor·i·est, noun, plural -vor·ies.
pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell: a savory aroma.
piquant: a savory jelly.
pleasing, attractive, or agreeable.
  • The word umami is not yet mentioned in this dictionary reference so is not so notable as to replace a common thus well know word like savory. I tried to get this across but was not effective in my endeavor, however, I do not not plan to stop. Otr500 (talk) 12:33, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Contradictory statements

"the resulting taste intensity is higher than the sum of both ingredients." "the umami taste sensation of those ingredients mixed together surpasses the taste of each one alone." (talk) 23:05, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

The two statements appear to be restating the same thing. ~AH1 (discuss!) 17:18, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Umami Is Not Savoriness

This is the English version of WIKIPEDIA. Umami is NOT an English word or concept. "Savoriness" is the appropriate word for one of the basic tastes familiar to "foodies" or gourmets, it should be discussed in an article of its own.LAWinans (talk) 22:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, I think "Savoriness" should be the title of the article, because of this being the English language Wikipedia. Also, I feel there is a lot of bias in the article, as if a proponent of Umami and of the japanese spelling wrote it. It makes mention of Umami being the most common name for savoriness in other languages like Spanish, which as a native speaker I can guarantee you it is not. Alan MB (talk) 09:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Please read these first. Talk:Umami/Archive 1#Rename, this neological term is highly promotional!, Talk:Umami/Archive 1#Umami?, Talk:Umami/Archive 1#Umami versus savoriness, and Talk:Umami/Archive 1#Does this make sense? I'm afraid you don't know what actually umami is. If you knew, you'd know umami cannot be replaceable with the English word savoriness. The savoriness you know is not necessarily umami. Have you ever tasted dashi? Can you distinguish a good dashi and not so good dashi? If you cannot, I don't think you know umami. Thank you. Oda Mari (talk) 10:24, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Huitlacoche is umami?

What can you tell me in view of [20]? --kmath (talk) 23:01, 11 February 2012 (UTC) ref: Huitlacoche

Umami in Korean

From what I know, the traditional Korean word for umami is gamchilmat (감칠맛). This taste description wasn't that common in the past, so to speak. Komitsuki (talk) 17:50, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. Go find a Japanese person over age 40 who remembers using "umami" frequently in his or her childhood. This term has been promoted as part of the rebranding of Ajinomoto which has redefined MSG as a "natural flavor in itself" rather than a "flavor enhancer" (technically a drug, because it claims to change perception). Martindo (talk) 23:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

So in what way do you want to change the article? Lova Falk talk 10:22, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing "metallic" as a taste

In the intro to the article, "metallic" is cited as a taste. I went through and fixed the citation only to discover that when I read it, the article actually describes metallic taste as being a consequence of the retronasal smell rather than taste. I do see another paper from at least some of the same authors here, but it's not clear at all that the literature favors metallic as a basic taste. I recommend removal.--0x0077BE (talk) 21:41, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree. This “metallic” taste hasn’t been established well enough to note here. It might belong as a footnote on the page about taste in general, but no, not here. Strebe (talk) 05:32, 8 November 2012 (UTC)


Hello, I notice that Savouriness redirects here, but the article is apparently about only a subset of savoury tastes. I think it would be nice to say a little more about the superset and to clarify the difference between the two concepts with examples. Otherwise it looks a bit like redirecting colour to yellow. (talk) 11:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Have at it. You won’t find much literature on “savory” alone, though. Strebe (talk) 23:44, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's much to say, or at least not enough to make an article. There's already a disambiguation page which lists the definition of savory, i.e. wikt:savory, and I'm not sure there's much more to it than examples. Many of those examples already have articles (such as for many dishes), and being savory is something that connects them but I don't know there's much more to it than that.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 00:17, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, but then shouldn't it be more correct to redirect savouriness to the disambig instead of here? (talk) 12:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is more correct to redirect to “savory”. I’ll fix it. Strebe (talk) 18:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the lede complaint of this section. Especially when various food products like sweetbread and Marmite are described as savory, not umami.giggle 16:50, 19 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Added section for balance

I added the section "Concerns and controversies of MSG" for educational benefits but also to provide balance, as well as a neutral point of view, so the article doesn't appear to be an advertisement. I have some more to add but this is a start. Otr500 (talk) 17:20, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

This is extremely unbalanced. The article is not about MSG. There is nothing wrong with mentioning the MSG concern along with a link to the MSG page and section, but the new section here as it stands is completely disproportionate to the article's topic. I will delete it in its entirety if it does not get scaled down immediately to a single short paragraph. Strebe (talk) 21:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Your statement makes it appear that you own this article. You are an editor, unless you recently purchased Wikipedia (in which case you would certainly have dictator status) so your threats are not only out of line with all that Wikipedia stands for, it is offensive for you to demand (that you can dictate) that "a single short paragraph" is all that you will allow.
The article was unbalanced to the tune of an advertisement, and was so POV in one direction it made it sound like umami is manna from Heaven. I am very patient so you carry through with your threats and we can go to the community to see why you think you have ownership authority to make "or else threats" and certainly why you would state that one of a main trigger of "Umami", being MSG (according to the article as written and other sources), that has concerns from several groups, a split position among scientists, 51 meetings of JECFA, and the FDA, that is not only imparted by MSG but enhanced as well, is not important.
The second paragraph of the lead: "People taste umami through receptors for glutamate, commonly found in its salt form as the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG)." .
All of the vagueness of what umami is, all the verbiage that explains that the umami taste is "pleasant savory taste", "pleasant "brothy" or "meaty" taste with a long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue", BUT is "difficult to describe", "is not palatable" by itself, and "is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range", is because of "detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamate", which is? The first reference provides a definition of Umami, that is lacking in the article, "It is what gives depth of flavour to food".
There is also tagged information that I have not found any reference to corroborate such as; "There are some distinctions among stocks from different countries. Japanese dashi gives a very pure umami taste sensation because it is not based on mammal or poultry meats.". This is not referenced and appears as a veggie push. "...very pure umami taste"! Would that be the best of the best of the best umami taste?
Here is an interesting piece from the Journal of Chemical Education (Vol. 81 No. 3 March 2004- page 354) by George B. Kauffman, California State University:

MSG also has a strong synergistic effect with disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, which are found in meat, fish, vegetables, and mushrooms. These substances are almost tasteless in the absence of MSG, but addition of even a small quantity of MSG to food that contains these nucleotides produces an umami that is as much as six or eight fold greater than that to be expected from the quantity of MSG added. Not surprisingly, small quantities of the nucleotides have been added to MSG to create an enhanced source of umami.

The article is about a sense of taste (one of 5 basic tastes), now called umami. The article as now written propagates that this is because of "...glutamate, commonly found in its salt form" which is MSG. Every section either directly or indirectly refers to MSG. The section Properties of umami taste, states "Some population groups, such as the elderly, may benefit from umami taste because their taste and smell sensitivity is impaired by age and medicine". The reference title is "Can dietary supplementation of monosodium glutamate improve the health of the elderly?". The fact is that glutamate (found naturally in some foods) plays an important part in the sense of taste called umami. Particularly and importantly MSG play a critical role in umami and is added to many foods. There are concerns with MSG that is relevant to more than mentioning the MSG concern along with a link to the MSG page or a single short paragraph, for encyclopedic value concerning MSG and umami.
  • Reinstated because of rogue editor displaying absolute ownership of the article. And THEN-- to prove your point that I was suppose to be watching this article day and night-- and should have 'scaled down immediately --meaning RIGHT, this minute, not a second later, NOW because you own the article. REALLY!!!!!!! Otr500 (talk) 06:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
You and anyone have the same “rights” as I do, and you have exercised them. Now that you have reverted my edit, shall I rant exactly same things you did?
And THEN-- to prove your point that I was suppose to be watching this article day and night-- and should have scaled down immediately --meaning RIGHT, this minute, not a second later, NOW because you own the article. Sorry, but you edited this article well after my posting, so I’m afraid this exaggerated indignation appears to be blatant disingenuousness.
I do not defend the quality of the article. If you have complaints about the “advertising” nature of the verbiage, by all means improve it. But again, the article is about umami, not MSG, and your perversion of the article to proselytize the evils of MSG will be vigorously contested. Umami is not just about MSG. Contrary to your characterization, the text explicitly refers to L-glutamate, of which monosodium glutamate is but one salt of, inosinic acid, and guanosine. While MSG may be the most common additive to achieve the character of umami, the umami receptors act on a wider range of naturally occurring substances. It is those receptors and the sensation they produce that is the topic of the article, not MSG. Furthermore your extensive text duplicates the warnings already found in the MSG article as well as the Glutamic acid (flavor)#Safety as a flavor enhancer article. Duplications of material are frowned on. There’s a reason we have separate articles for separate topics. I have reverted your edit; I’ll request a page lock if you continue to resort to reversions rather than hashing it out here. Strebe (talk) 08:52, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Difficulty of Description

"Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe." Is this sentence necessary? I can understand that being a loanword from Japanese, there's the sense that we are encountering something that is "new" and which we can "explain" (i.e. by previously known concepts), but there's nothing new in the perception of this taste, only in its naming. It's difficult to describe umami, but how do you describe salty? Or sweet? How do you describe red? Umami, just like all tastes or basic objects of perceptions, is beyond description. You can point towards it, describe when, where or how it is perceived, but you cannot describe it. I think it's an unnecessary sentence there. -- (talk) 17:28, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Genetics of ability to taste umami

Does anyone here have the expertise to add a section on genetic variation in the ability to taste umami? If not, I could probably do this; I'm a geneticist but of plants and fungi, not humans, but I should be able to understand the scientific papers on genetics of umami tasting. Declaration of personal interest: I think this section is significant because I'm a non-taster. Please post on my talk page if you think this is worthwhile. OldSpot61 (talk) 16:49, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Be bold! Strebe (talk) 22:03, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

No translation?

"umami has no translation"

But the lead paragraph mentions its translation ("savoriness").

In fact, why isn't the main title of this English Wikipedia page "Savoriness"? (talk) 21:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

“Savoriness” is an attempt to translate “umami”. It’s not a good translation. The meaning of “savory” is much broader than “umami” and in general is not used synonymously. Strebe (talk) 17:06, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Then why do all references to savory redirect to this page? Also why, if savory is the broader - and roughly 700 years older - term, is it being redirected to a more specific subcategory of itself?

The definition of umami sounds like someone reinvented wheel, only 30% smaller. With an "untranslatable" Japanese name. This page should be rewritten, with umami itself being a part of an article about savory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

“Then why do all references to savory redirect to this page?”
• What are all these references?
I was directed here from Sweetbread. I think I ended up here from an article about yeast extracts (Marmite, Vegemite), as well. This umami business sounds pretentious!giggle 16:47, 19 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Then I suggest you eliminate the link to “savory” in the Sweetbread article. It does not sound appropriate. Strebe (talk) 17:38, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
“Also why, if savory is the broader - and roughly 700 years older - term, is it being redirected to a more specific subcategory of itself?”
• Because “savoriness” outside the context of umami is not well defined and not an encyclopædic topic. People are unlikely to be looking for an article on the broader term “savoriness” just as they are unlikely to be looking for an article on “deliciousness”. Meanwhile because umami is often (unnecessarily) translated as “savoriness”, people looking for an article on savoriness are likely looking for umami.
The definition of umami sounds like someone reinvented wheel, only 30% smaller.
• No, the definition of umami sounds like someone got some science involved by discovering that there is a basic human taste receptor for umami, one of only five known basic receptors. There is no basic human taste receptor for the poorly defined “savoriness”.
“This page should be rewritten, with umami itself being a part of an article about savory.”
• There is nothing encyclopædic to be said about “savoriness”. Its dictionary definition suffices. Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Strebe (talk) 20:48, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Excellent question, which is exactly what brought me to the Talk page. I clicked on the link to "savory" from an article about sweetbread, and it brought me here...rather weasily, in my view. If I want to know about "umami", I would like to click on it from within the "savory" article. The lede question of this talk section has not been satisfactorily answered. If savory is a broad subject, then it is encyclopedic. If umami is synonymous with savory, then that should be stated in the article about savory.giggle 16:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
“Weasily”? Why would you assume bad intent? Someone casually linked. Unlink it. Savory is not a “broad topic”; the word simply has a broader meaning than umami but is not encyclopædic because there is no substantial literature on the topic and it is not well defined. Umami is well defined and has a body of literature and scientific research. There is no article on “savory”.Strebe (talk) 17:38, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Umami is a marketing term and the actual closest english translation of the term is "good taste," not "savoriness." This article is full of factual errors and presents half-truths as fact.

If you have any specific changes you would like to suggest or if there are specific items you feel are half-truths it would be helpful if you noted them here. Deli nk (talk) 21:58, 14 February 2015 (UTC)