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Researchers Identify The Flavor That Makes Us Eat Less

Update Date: Jul 24, 2014 12:13 PM EDT

The flavor of food, responsible for its 'deliciousness' might also be used for getting information about its protein content, according to a new research.

Umami (meaning 'deliciousness' in Japanese), which is recognized as our fifth sense of taste is actually the chemical glutamate - a protein found in meat and other savory foods such as Marmite, parmesan cheese and shiitake mushrooms.

According to research, it is also the flavor that helps us to feel full.

"We know from past research, including previous work at Sussex, that foods with a high protein content tend to satisfy your appetite better than do carbohydrate and fat-rich foods. So if protein is satisfying, and umami signals the presence of protein, in this study we asked whether the presence of umami taste itself reduced subsequent appetite," said Professor Martin Yeomans in the press release.

The study considered 26 healthy volunteers and tested how these people felt when they were hungry and how much they consumed at a later meal.

The study concluded that umami taste can reduce appetite, at least in some conditions and hence umami-enriched foods may help people with weight concerns to regulate their appetite.

"How umami achieves this effect is less clear, and we will be looking for future funding to help us answer that question," Professor Yeomans added.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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