There are 5 fundamental taste receptors in human gestation including sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness and umami. Umami is often translated as a savory flavor and its unique characteristic is synergetic effect when used with other ingredients, bumping up the umami drastically.
Japanese chefs have known this fact long ago before umami was discovered from their experience and utilized umami in their cooking. Knowing that this savory taste were distinct from other 4 fundamental tastes and used this synergistic effect from the experience when using food filled with glutamic acid such as kombu seaweed with other umami ingredients will increase the taste. That is because Japanese food is to extract ingredients taste using ingredients such as kombu seaweed. Therefore, Japanese dashi stock using kombu and bonito was invented from the experience.
4 years ago, mechanism of taste synergy effect was discovered. Receptor of Umami, shaped like venus fly trap bind close to the hinge region bind to an adjacent site when glutamic acid is together and stabilizing it. When stabilized, glutamic acid is able to stay in the receptor, increasing umami in the gestation.
venus fly trap / BotheredByBees
When umami is added, meal become more palatable with savory flavor, making the food taste the way they taste like. With little bit of work and ingredients, it will make your dish multiple times better and healthier for low sodium. Utilize umami and add healthy delicious meal.