In 1982, in order to disseminate information about umami globally, the Umami Information Center was founded with the support of The Umami Manifacturers Association of Japan.
We aim to provide accurate and useful information about umami to Japan and the world.
What is Umami
Umami is the fifth basic taste and was discovered by a Japanese scientist. Japanese people are full of knowledge on umami from both cultural as well as scientific standpoints.
In order to help people learn about the umami taste, the Umami Information Center always includes a tasting of umami-rich soup stocks and foods during our lectures. Let's try umami.
Information on ingredients rich in glutamate, inosinate and guanylate.
Have you ever wondered how much umami is present in certain foods? The Umami Database will be one of the sources through which you can find the answer.
Umami founder Kikunae Ikeda
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) was discovered in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda, a professor at the School of Science's Department of Chemistry at the Imperial University (now called The University of Tokyo).
What is Dashi
Japanese cuisine is an invaluable part of our culture, which we are proud of. Dashi is the base of this cuisine. Information on and cooking methods of dashi are given here.
Umami Information Center Activity
See “Umami Mama Says…” monthly series on Instagram
Dr. Kumiko Ninomiya, who is known as “Umami Mama”, talks about umami on Instagram.
“This is umami!” Umami Experience Classroom at a junior high school
UIC had a lesson on umami in a junior high school in Tokyo.
Umami lecture for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago (JCCC)
In the online seminar between Japan and Chicago, UIC gave a lecture on umami.
Umami Culture around the World
In every country around the globe, there are various umami-rich ingredients that impart deliciousness to food.
Local Cuisine in Japan and Umami
There are a variety of local cuisines that have been passed down over generations all over Japan. Local cuisine has supported the lives of the people in the region while making the most of regional ingredients, and it makes use of umami-rich soup stock and the umami in seasonal ingredients.
Umami Rich Ingredients Kombu(Kelp)
Of all foods, kombu is the richest in glutamate, a component of umami and an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. In particular, kombu stock is indispensable for cooking vegetable dishes in Buddhist cuisine, which does not use meat and fish.
Umami Rich Ingredients Katsuobushi(Dried Bonito Flakes)
Along with kombu, katsuobushi is indispensable to Japanese cuisine. Bonito is rich in inosinate, a substance of umami. In combination with glutamate, the beneficial effects of umami are multiplied several fold. Japanese ichiban (primary) dashi uses this synergetic effect.
Umami Rich Ingredients Mushroom
Mushrooms come in various shapes and flavors. Raw mushrooms contain glutamate, a component of umami. Dried mushrooms are also rich in guanylate, another substance of umami.
Umami Rich Ingredients Shoyu(Soy source)
Soy sauce is a fermented condiment and seasoning sauce that plays a central role in Japanese culinary culture.
Umami Rich Ingredients Miso
Miso is one of the traditional Japanese fermented ingredient made from soybeans, koji and salt.Recently, it is often used not only in Japanese cuisine but also in Western cuisine. Miso is rich in glutamate which is one of major umami substances.
Umami Rich Ingredients Vegetables and Beans
Familiar vegetables contain glutamate, a constituent of umami. What types of vegetables have the highest umami content?
Umami Rich Ingredients Tomato
Tomatoes are rich in glutamate. The amount of glutamate reaches its peak as tomatoes ripen to a vivid red color.
Seasonings made of tomatoes are used around the world. Umami-rich tomatoes are an important part of the human diet.
Umami Rich Ingredients Cheese
Compare the umami substances of different types of cheese. Do you see a large difference in the amount of umami between fresh and matured cheeses?
Talking about Umami
Statements from culinary experts and researchers.
Smart Recipes with Umami
Find delicious recipes to make with umami.
Umami in Washoku
Find umami recipes by chefs who continue to innovate while protecting the tradition of Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese.