The 6th sense… in your tastebud!

23
Jul
2021

More and more people are familiar with the word, umami which is a word to describe brothy and savoury food such as miso soup or barbeque meat. While umami is the 5th taste sense, there is a newly minted taste concept known as kokumi!

This “sixth sense” expands and enhances the other five previous tastes senses (sweet, sour, salty, spicy and of course, umami). Kokumi is widely associated with textures that are hearty, thick and “coats the mouth” such as dairy products (milk, butter, cheese), fats, salad dressings, as well as fermented foods such as fish sauce, soya sauce, wine and shrimp paste.

Interestingly, this “latest” food sensation was actually discovered by Japanese researchers way back in 1989. Research shows that kokumi-rich food generally taste more robust and it makes reduced-sugar food products taste sweeter! (wow!)

This important identification of the “sixth sense” created much excitement in the food industry as companies want to find how to create healthy dishes without giving up that satisfying taste.

Sources:

  1. https://www.fooddive.com/news/kokumi-the-sensation-that-makes-tasting-better/553761/
  2. https://sciencemeetsfood.org/umami-kokumi-flavor-profile/