Umami Information Center


Healthy life forever! - UIC lecture at Ogikubo Health Center

February 2024

On February 27, 2024, the Umami Information Center, UIC, held an umami lecture at the Ogikubo Health Center. It was a public lecture for the residents of Suginami ward, planned and hosted by the Ogikubo Health Center.

As various systems of the world have become digitalized, our lives have become very convenient.  On the other hand, however, our “time at home” has increased and our activity level may have decreased.
To prevent lifestyle-related diseases and to improve the lifestyle of residents who have reduced physical activity, the health center has planned four public lectures.
The lecturers included a doctor, a dental hygienist, and an exercise therapist. They provided participants with knowledge on the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases through classroom lectures, vascular age measurements, and exercises.

The Umami Information Center was also in charge of one of them.
Ms. Yasue Kido, a director of the Umami Information Center, gave a lecture entitled “Let's experience ‘umami’! The Secrets of a Healthy and Tasty Diet”, which explained how umami helps us live a healthy life. Providing tasting session of umami-rich ingredients such as dried tomatoes and dashi, she spoke in an easy-to-understand manner to the participants.

Participants experienced a rehabilitation of dry mouth using kombu water.

Ms. Kido made a special effort to make this lecture familiar to the daily lives of the residents.
The lecture started with a careful tasting of dried tomatoes to learn “how umami tastes.” It was followed by an explanation of the history of discovering umami and its characteristics. The participants also tried the synergistic effect of umami using kombu dashi and katsuo dashi.
It was very impressive that everyone was surprised to feel that these two types of dashi together increased the strength of umami by 7-8 times.
Under the condition that proportions of glutamate and inosinate were adjusted to maintain a fixed total concentration (0.05g/100ml) of umami substance.

Then she also explained the health benefits of umami. She explained that by using umami, one can reduce the amount of salt without sacrificing taste, and by utilizing its property of stimulating saliva secretion, the symptoms of dry mouth might be improved.

“Try sipping kombu water 10 times a day and holding it in your mouth for 30 seconds. This training will remind your body of the function of salivation!” She said, holding up a bottle of rishiri kombu water that had been soaked in water overnight.
Everyone took a sip of the liquid and showed their understanding as they sensed the secretion of saliva.

After the lecture, we received a variety of comments.
“I want to use umami effectively to reduce salt in my diet,”
“I will start rehabilitating with kombu water.”
“The lecture was very helpful for my cooking. I want to be a smart consumer by making good use of umami.”

The benefits of umami are not limited to contributing to deliciousness. It is also known to have health benefits, such as reducing salt content in meals without sacrificing taste, promoting saliva secretion, and making us feel full.
We hope that you will take advantage of the benefits of umami and enjoy a healthy life.