The Journal of Medical Investigation
Online ISSN : 1349-6867
Print ISSN : 1343-1420
Regulation of Exocrine Glands by Taste Stimulation (Ajinomoto-sponsored Symposium)
Contribution of umami taste substances in human salivation during meal
Hisayuki UneyamaMisako KawaiYuki Sekine-HayakawaKunio Torii
Author information

2009 Volume 56 Issue Supplement Pages 197-204


The oral gustatory perception during a meal has very important physiological roles such as inducing appetite, smoothing mastication and swallowing, promoting digestion and each nutrient availability. One hundred years ago, L-glutamate was discovered as a new taste substance in Japan. Since then, Japanese taste physiologists have lead the research to establish L-glutamate as the prototype molecule for the fifth basic taste (umami taste), in addition to saltiness, sweetness, bitterness and sourness. Meanwhile, various lines of evidence demonstrated that taste perception is linked to taste stimuli-oral/pharyngeal reflexes. In this review, we focus on the efficacy of L-glutamate for human salivation and discuss the possible application of umami taste simulation to the nutritional management for the elderly due to amelioration of their quality of life (QOL). J. Med. Invest. 56 Suppl.: 197-204, December, 2009

Information related to the author
© 2009 by The University of Tokushima Faculty of Medicine
Previous article Next article