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Umami as an ‘Alimentary’ Taste. A New Perspective on Taste Classification

Centre for Advanced Sensory Science, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong 3220, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 182;
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taste, Nutrition and Health)
Applied taste research is increasingly focusing on the relationship with diet and health, and understanding the role the sense of taste plays in encouraging or discouraging consumption. The concept of basic tastes dates as far back 3000 years, where perception dominated classification with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter consistently featuring on basic taste lists throughout history. Advances in molecular biology and the recent discovery of taste receptors and ligands has increased the basic taste list to include umami and fat taste. There is potential for a plethora of other new basic tastes pending the discovery of taste receptors and ligands. Due to the possibility for an ever-growing list of basic tastes it is pertinent to critically evaluate whether new tastes, including umami, are suitably positioned with the four classic basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter). The review critically examines the evidence that umami, and by inference other new tastes, fulfils the criteria for a basic taste, and proposes a subclass named ‘alimentary’ for tastes not meeting basic criteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: basic tastes; taste; taste reception; umami basic tastes; taste; taste reception; umami
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hartley, I.E.; Liem, D.G.; Keast, R. Umami as an ‘Alimentary’ Taste. A New Perspective on Taste Classification. Nutrients 2019, 11, 182.

AMA Style

Hartley IE, Liem DG, Keast R. Umami as an ‘Alimentary’ Taste. A New Perspective on Taste Classification. Nutrients. 2019; 11(1):182.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hartley, Isabella E, Djin Gie Liem, and Russell Keast. 2019. "Umami as an ‘Alimentary’ Taste. A New Perspective on Taste Classification" Nutrients 11, no. 1: 182.

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