A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries

Maria Paola Cecchini, Antti Knaapila, Eileen Hoffmann, Federico Boschi, Thomas Hummel, Emilia Iannilli

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Sammanfattning

Although scientists have known about the umami taste for decades, it is only recently that it has gradually gained
wider public recognition as the fifth primary taste. Umami is elicited by L-glutamate, some amino acids and
purine nucleotides. Glutamate is found in a wide range of foods but despite that, this taste is not generally
included in taste evaluation tests in European countries because it has been found to be hard to conceptualize by
the population. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive survey on umami familiarity in European
countries has not been conducted. Therefore, we chose three countries representative of northern (Finland),
central (Germany) and southern Europe (Italy) for our study. Each group contained 300, 271 and 252 participants,
respectively. We collected the categorical descriptors spontaneously expressed by volunteers after tasting
an umami solution alone, next to the hedonic value perceived in comparison with a watery salt solution and pure
water. A significant difference in the hedonic response by country was found. The Finnish sample group used the
correct word “umami” at a higher rate (15%) than Italians and Germans (both at 2%). Finland also showed better
discrimination between the monosodium glutamate (umami) and sodium chloride (cooking salt) solutions.
Overall, the umami taste was rated less pleasant than the salt, females preferring umami more than males, while
it was the other way around for salt. Interestingly, a similar percentage of individuals with very low sensitivity
for both umami and salt was detected in the countries.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftFood Quality and Preference
Volym74
Sidor (från-till)172-178
ISSN0950-3293
StatusPublicerad - 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 416 Livsmedelsvetenskap

Citera det här

Cecchini, M. P., Knaapila, A., Hoffmann, E., Boschi, F., Hummel, T., & Iannilli, E. (2019). A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries. Food Quality and Preference, 74, 172-178.
Cecchini, Maria Paola ; Knaapila, Antti ; Hoffmann, Eileen ; Boschi, Federico ; Hummel, Thomas ; Iannilli, Emilia. / A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries. I: Food Quality and Preference. 2019 ; Vol. 74. s. 172-178.
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abstract = "Although scientists have known about the umami taste for decades, it is only recently that it has gradually gainedwider public recognition as the fifth primary taste. Umami is elicited by L-glutamate, some amino acids andpurine nucleotides. Glutamate is found in a wide range of foods but despite that, this taste is not generallyincluded in taste evaluation tests in European countries because it has been found to be hard to conceptualize bythe population. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive survey on umami familiarity in Europeancountries has not been conducted. Therefore, we chose three countries representative of northern (Finland),central (Germany) and southern Europe (Italy) for our study. Each group contained 300, 271 and 252 participants,respectively. We collected the categorical descriptors spontaneously expressed by volunteers after tastingan umami solution alone, next to the hedonic value perceived in comparison with a watery salt solution and purewater. A significant difference in the hedonic response by country was found. The Finnish sample group used thecorrect word “umami” at a higher rate (15{\%}) than Italians and Germans (both at 2{\%}). Finland also showed betterdiscrimination between the monosodium glutamate (umami) and sodium chloride (cooking salt) solutions.Overall, the umami taste was rated less pleasant than the salt, females preferring umami more than males, whileit was the other way around for salt. Interestingly, a similar percentage of individuals with very low sensitivityfor both umami and salt was detected in the countries.",
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Cecchini, MP, Knaapila, A, Hoffmann, E, Boschi, F, Hummel, T & Iannilli, E 2019, 'A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries', Food Quality and Preference, vol. 74, s. 172-178.

A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries. / Cecchini, Maria Paola; Knaapila, Antti; Hoffmann, Eileen; Boschi, Federico; Hummel, Thomas; Iannilli, Emilia.

I: Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 74, 2019, s. 172-178.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries

AU - Cecchini, Maria Paola

AU - Knaapila, Antti

AU - Hoffmann, Eileen

AU - Boschi, Federico

AU - Hummel, Thomas

AU - Iannilli, Emilia

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Although scientists have known about the umami taste for decades, it is only recently that it has gradually gainedwider public recognition as the fifth primary taste. Umami is elicited by L-glutamate, some amino acids andpurine nucleotides. Glutamate is found in a wide range of foods but despite that, this taste is not generallyincluded in taste evaluation tests in European countries because it has been found to be hard to conceptualize bythe population. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive survey on umami familiarity in Europeancountries has not been conducted. Therefore, we chose three countries representative of northern (Finland),central (Germany) and southern Europe (Italy) for our study. Each group contained 300, 271 and 252 participants,respectively. We collected the categorical descriptors spontaneously expressed by volunteers after tastingan umami solution alone, next to the hedonic value perceived in comparison with a watery salt solution and purewater. A significant difference in the hedonic response by country was found. The Finnish sample group used thecorrect word “umami” at a higher rate (15%) than Italians and Germans (both at 2%). Finland also showed betterdiscrimination between the monosodium glutamate (umami) and sodium chloride (cooking salt) solutions.Overall, the umami taste was rated less pleasant than the salt, females preferring umami more than males, whileit was the other way around for salt. Interestingly, a similar percentage of individuals with very low sensitivityfor both umami and salt was detected in the countries.

AB - Although scientists have known about the umami taste for decades, it is only recently that it has gradually gainedwider public recognition as the fifth primary taste. Umami is elicited by L-glutamate, some amino acids andpurine nucleotides. Glutamate is found in a wide range of foods but despite that, this taste is not generallyincluded in taste evaluation tests in European countries because it has been found to be hard to conceptualize bythe population. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive survey on umami familiarity in Europeancountries has not been conducted. Therefore, we chose three countries representative of northern (Finland),central (Germany) and southern Europe (Italy) for our study. Each group contained 300, 271 and 252 participants,respectively. We collected the categorical descriptors spontaneously expressed by volunteers after tastingan umami solution alone, next to the hedonic value perceived in comparison with a watery salt solution and purewater. A significant difference in the hedonic response by country was found. The Finnish sample group used thecorrect word “umami” at a higher rate (15%) than Italians and Germans (both at 2%). Finland also showed betterdiscrimination between the monosodium glutamate (umami) and sodium chloride (cooking salt) solutions.Overall, the umami taste was rated less pleasant than the salt, females preferring umami more than males, whileit was the other way around for salt. Interestingly, a similar percentage of individuals with very low sensitivityfor both umami and salt was detected in the countries.

KW - 416 Food Science

KW - Umami

KW - Taste

KW - European countries

KW - Familiarity

KW - Cross-cultural

M3 - Article

VL - 74

SP - 172

EP - 178

JO - Food Quality and Preference

JF - Food Quality and Preference

SN - 0950-3293

ER -

Cecchini MP, Knaapila A, Hoffmann E, Boschi F, Hummel T, Iannilli E. A cross-cultural survey of umami familiarity in European countries. Food Quality and Preference. 2019;74:172-178.