‘Umami’, the fifth taste sense, draws you to fast food consumption: Experts

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Lucknow, Oct 27 (IANS) Did you know that you could have developed a fifth basic taste, besides sour, sweet, bitter, and salty.

This explains why you feel the urge to eat fast food when passing their stalls but there is no such urge while fruit carts or shops selling fruit juices.

The fifth taste sense is called ‘Umami’. “An ingredient in fast food called MSG (Monosodium glutamate), commonly called ajinomoto, which contains an excitatory neurotransmitter, makes you eat fast food often. It actually develops a different/fifth taste called Umami for you, which actually is not beneficial for your body,” said Prof N.S. Verma, HoD, physiology, KGMU.

“Food with MSG should be a big no for all but unfortunately this is not happening,” said Prof Verma.

Doctors said that if people want to eat different dishes they should try and cook them at home and avoid going to eat street food. “The habit of eating food under the influence of an excitatory neurotransmitter can make people ill,” said Prof Manish Bajpai , a senior medical expert.

The topic is being discussed at the ongoing national conference of physiology here.

Prof Verma said that 300 experts will participate in the event that will have 150 speaker sessions and six symposia on various topics.

“The conference will focus upon various topics including sleep, blood pressure monitoring, pulmonary function testing, brainstem auditory evoked response, yoga and autonomic nervous system,” said Prof Vani Gupta, senior faculty member, department of physiology, KGMU.

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