Oil and Fat are Taste: The Story of Sixth Taste


We perceive five tastes as taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. And actually, there is something else that we feel as a taste. It is oil and fat.


Why Potato Chips Are Tasty

If you think about the various delicious foods around us, you will find that there are more than two flavors: sweet and bitter in chocolate, sweet and sour in strawberries, salty and umami in miso soup, and so on.

Here’s a question. Why do potato chips and French fries taste so good?

French fries, if I may say so, have a salty taste with a sweet taste from the potatoes. What is it that makes potato chips so delicious?

Fats and Oils are Tastes

In fact, fat and oil are tastes. Although they are not yet recognized as a sixth taste, it has been confirmed that there is an organ on the tongue that reacts with fatty acids. Fatty acid is a substance that is produced when oil is broken down.
油脂の味は6番目の基本味か? – “脂肪酸を感知する神経”とその役割を探る
油脂の味は6番目の基本味か? – “脂肪酸を感知する神経”とその役割を探る

In other words, when we eat oil, it is broken down to form fatty acids, and our tongue detects these fatty acids.

It is very important to find this organ on the tongue. The fact that umami was finally recognized as a taste is deeply related to the discovery of the organ that reacts to umami.
What is UMAMI? Umami is the 5th Taste!
Umami is the fifth taste. Many Umami seasonings exist, but pure umami seasonings are limited. For example, Ajinomoto, MSG is umami seasoning.

Potato Chips are Salty & Oil

Now we know. Potato chips and French fries are delicious because they contain saltiness and oil. Lean bread with very little sugar, such as bugette, tastes better when buttered. This is also a combination of saltiness and oil.

Disadvantage of Air Fryer

Air fryers are popular because they can make fried foods without oil. However, we often hear that the finished product is not what we expected. What is the difference?

For one thing, the texture is different. This is probably due to the difference in the heating mechanism, and there is nothing we can do about it.

The other is that the taste is different. This is probably due to the fact that we don’t use oil at all, so our tongue doesn’t taste the oil.

Of course, texture is also a part of taste, so it is difficult to say that this is the best way. However, if you spray a small amount of oil when using an air fryer, the taste will improve considerably.

Oil is Good for Reducing Salt


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