About the Society

About the Society

The Society for Research on Umami Taste was established in 1982 by scientists interested in research on umami taste. The resulting panel discussions, lectures, workshops, and forums organized by the Society have led to a significant increase in the interest in umami research around the world. As a direct result of these activities, a large amount of scientific data on the umami taste in the fields of biochemistry, taste physiology, food science, nutrition, and brain sciences has been accumulated.

Since its founding decades ago, the Society’s accomplishments include the organization of two international symposia on umami.

  • The first symposium was held in Hawaii in 1985. There, the term “umami” first received international recognition as a scientific term that characterizes the unique imparted by compounds such as monosodium L-glutamate and 5′-nucleotides, inosinate and guanylate. The proceedings of this symposium were published in 1987 in a volume titled, “Umami: A Basic Taste” by Marcel Dekker, New York.
  • The second international symposium on umami taste was held in Sicily in 1990. The proceedings were published in 1991 in a special issue of the journal, “Physiology & Behavior”, one of the world’s leading scientific research journals.

The unique style of these symposia, in which scientists of varying disciplines from around the world gathered to freely exchange data and ideas on this common theme, attracted the attention of many additional scientists and encouraged the world-wide research activities on umami taste.

  • In 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004, the special symposia focusing on umami taste were held during the International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste (ISOT). More than one hundred scientists participated in the symposia.
  • In 2008, Centenary Anniversary Symposium of Umami Discovery (SRUT Symposium) and International 100th Anniversary Symposium of Umami Discovery were held in Tokyo. International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste(ISOT) in San Francisco there were two Umami symposia.
  • In 2012, International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste (ISOT) in Stockholm there were two symposia: “preference for umami taste” and “integration of nutrient sensor functions in oral cavity and gut”.

The Society for Research on Umami Taste encourages interdisciplinary investigations into the umami and on the significance of this taste on the health of the organism. We believe these activities can lead to a further development of the science of taste.

The Society looks forward to continued research activities and encourages opportunities for further research and discussion on the nature of this unique and important basic taste.

Nobuyuki Sakai, Ph.D.