Sweet, salty, bitter and sour are the basic flavors that we all know and identify easily; To these, we can add for some time now, the umami flavor which is less know but that was discovered over a century ago by Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemistry teacher.
Umami is the flavor of intense and tasty meals, umami means delicious in Japanese. The Umami flavor can be found in a wide variety of foodstuffs such as cured cheeses, especially in Parmesan, in Serrano ham, salty anchovies, soy sauce, tomato, etc. It may be defined as a very intense and powerful flavor that fills your whole mouth.
A recent study that has been carried out by a group of researchers of the University of Purdue (Indiana) has led to the discovery of a new flavor: the oleogustus.
Researchers conducted an experiment in which a group of tasters tried different foodstuffs with their nose covered so that the smell does not modify the perception of the flavor and then they classified the foodstuffs into different categories according to their flavor. Tasters were able to identify bitter, umami and a flavor related to the lipids and fatty acids for which there were no defined name and that the scientists has decided to call oleogustus.
Oleogustus is not considered a nice flavor as we may associate at first moment, for instance, with butter, fried or battered foodstuffs……It has nothing to do with it, it is a pure fat flavor that dislikes almost every palate.
At the moment, oleogustus is not completely accepted as a new flavor and scientists have to carry out more tests. However, many of them already defend that it should be added to the basic flavors so that we know how to detect it and get away from foods that contain fats which are harmful to our organism.
The classification of oleogustus as a new flavor may be useful to improve the quality of foodstuffs and to reduce cardiovascular diseases.