Umami is the fifth basic taste. It was discovered about a century ago, and it has a meaty or savory flavor. Scientifically, umami is the taste of inosinate, guanylate, and glutamate. Glutamate/ glutamic acid is an amino acid present in animal proteins and vegetables. Inosinate is mainly present in meat, but glutamate is present in plants.
Umami powder is made up of mushroom powder, vitamin B, calcium, salt, and essence. Furthermore, it has naturally occurring glutamates, which can also be found in such ingredients as dried shiitake mushrooms, miso, seaweed, and ripe potatoes. Having known that, you can prepare a homemade and natural version for use as a flavor booster.
What’s the use of Umami Powder?
Umami powder adds the sweet, savory flavor that has been missing in all your meals. We all know about the four basic tastes- salty, sweet, sour, and bitter but forgot about the umami taste. That’s the taste you get by using a fine mixture of expertly blended mushrooms, herbs, and aromatic vegetables. Lovers of savory taste in dishes will definitely like umami powder. The best thing is that you can use it on almost all the dishes.
All other basic tastes are essential, and umami isn’t an exception. Detecting the taste is beneficial. Umami taste helps your body discover that your dish contains protein. Your body will respond by secreting saliva plus digestive juices to enhance protein digestion.
What are the components of Umami Powder?
Umami powder is made up of great ingredients such as bonito flakes, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu. All these are blended to form a very fine powder. The powder can be used on all dishes, including chicken, meatloaf, and burgers, and so on. Below is the procedure of preparing Umami Powder;
- I ounce kombu
- 1 ounce of dried shiitake mushrooms
- Six tablespoons bonito flakes
Start by breaking dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu into tiny pieces. You do that so that they can easily fit in your grinder or blender. Blend the mixture until you get a finer powder. Now store your powder in an airtight container.
How Important is Umami Powder
As earlier said, Umami savoriness promotes salivation and even helps in speeding up digestion. If consumed in the form of whole food, it aids in healing the body. Aside from that, there are other potential benefits. Some studies prove that adding umami powder to your dishes promotes satiety. So, you feel full and avoid eating excess food. Curbing appetite helps in controlling weight gain.
Now let’s look at types of healthy food with Umami flavor.
Seaweeds contain low calories but are fully packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Also, they are a rich source of umami flavor. That’s because they have high levels of glutamate. Soy-based foods
Soy foods are derived from soybeans. This is a staple legume in Asian culture. At times, soybeans can be taken as a whole, while others prefer them fermented or processed into different products like soy sauce, miso, tempeh, and tofu.
Actually, fermented or processed soybeans improve their glutamate content. That’s because proteins break down into free amino acids, mainly glutamic acid.
Aged cheese contains a high content of umami compound glutamate. As they age, the proteins are broken down into amino acids. That happens through proteolysis, and that increases glutamic acid levels in them.
Kimchi is an ancient Korean side dish derived from spices and vegetables. Lactobacillus bacteria ferment the vegetables by breaking them down by producing digestive enzymes such as amylases, lipases, and proteases.
Proteases break down the protein molecule present in Kimchi into free amino acids. Through this process, umami compound glutamic acid levels in Kimchi increases. Actually, Kimchi has 240mg glutamate in every 100 grams.
Green tea is a healthy beverage. It is related to several health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and controlling weight gain. Green tea has high levels of glutamate. That explains its bitter, sweet, and umami taste. In fact, 100 grams of dried green tea contains about 220-670 mg of glutamate.
Most types of seafood contain high levels of umami compound. Naturally, seafood contains inosinate and glutamate. Inosinate is an umami compound, and it’s a favorite food additive.
Meat has high levels of umami flavor. Glutamate and inosinate are also present in meat. Processed, aged, or dried meats have more glutamic acid compared to fresh meats. Processing or drying meat helps in breaking down the proteins to release free glutamic acid.
Umami flavor is also found in tomatoes. That’s why they have a sweet and savory flavor. The flavor is a result of the high content of glutamic acid.
Umami is the fifth basic taste known as meaty or savory flavor. The taste is a result of amino acid glutamate present in high-protein food. Alternatively, you can prepare Umami powder to enhance the flavor of dishes.