Term of Japanese origin for the now scientifically recognised fifth taste sensation perceived by the presence of glutamate in food or drink. Chemically, glutamate is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamine. Amino acids are the basic building materials for proteins. This substance develops flavour-enhancing properties in food and plays a special role in the palatability and acceptance of many foods. Glutamate (or glutamic acid) is found in almost all proteins as a building block, which means it is consumed with almost every meal. Vegetable proteins can even contain up to 40 % glutamic acid. However, glutamate must not be confused with gluten (gluten protein), to which some people are allergic.
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