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Dried bonito dashi: Contributions of mineral salts and organic acids to the taste of dashi

Delay, Eugene R., Weaver, Benjamin, Lane, Douglas R., Kondoh, Takashi
Physiology & behavior 2019 v.199 pp. 127-136
amino acids, bonito, calcium chloride, citric acid, cuisine, inosine, lactic acid, magnesium chloride, mice, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, taste, umami
Dried bonito dashi is often used in Japanese cuisine with a number of documented positive health effects. Its major taste is thought to be umami, elicited by inosine 5′-monophosphate (IMP) and L-amino acids. Previously we found that lactic acid, a major component of dried bonito dashi, enhanced the contribution of many of these amino acids to the taste of dried bonito dashi, and reduced the contribution of other amino acids. In addition to amino acids, dried bonito dashi also has a significant mineral salt component. The present study used conditioned taste aversion methods with mice (all had compromised olfactory systems) to compare the taste qualities of dried bonito dashi with four salts (NaCl, KCl, CaCl2 and MgCl2), with and without lactic acid or citric acid. A conditioned taste aversion to 25% dried bonitio dashi generalized significantly to NaCl and KCl, with or without 0.9% lactic acid added but not when citric acid was added. Generalization of the CTA to dried bonito dashi was much stronger to the divalent salts, but when either lactic acid or citric acid was added, this aversion was eliminated. These results suggest that these salts contribute to the complex taste of dried bonito dashi and that both organic acids appear able to modify the tastes of divalent salts.