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UmamiUnlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste$
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Ole Mouritsen and Klavs Styrbæk

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168908

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168908.001.0001

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The secret behind the humble soup stock

(p.153) (p.154) (p.155) Umami

Ole G. Mouritsen

Klavs Styrbæk

Jonas Drotner Mouritsen

, Mariela Johansen
Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses umami as the secret behind the humble soup stock. By far the majority of foodstuffs, when in their raw form, have little umami. Drawing out the fifth taste from them, therefore, becomes a question of breaking down their constituent parts, especially converting proteins into small peptides and free amino acids. Nucleic acids have little direct impact on nutrition, but they unquestionably have influence when it comes to taste and to interacting with glutamate to impart synergistic umami. This is especially true with the humble soup stock, a basic tool in virtually all cuisines. This chapter examines the chemical underpinnings of soup science using some well-known stocks as examples. It also considers osmazome and the physiology of taste, amino acids in soup stocks, the taste of a beef stock, and ready-made umami. Finally, it takes a look at two umami pioneers in Europe: Carl Heinrich Theodor Knorr and Julius Maggi.

Keywords:   umami, soup stock, osmazome, physiology, taste, amino acids, Carl Heinrich Theodor Knorr, Julius Maggi

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