"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


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Week: 584.5 

Guest: Dr. Stephen Roper, Prof. Biophysics, University of Miami 

Topic: The taste of Umami 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: I've got a new taste for you...coming up... 

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NEMA: Research into MSG, a controversial flavor enhancer, has led us to realize that we have special taste receptors for it...and it turns out that folks in the Far East have known about our craving for it for centuries....Dr. Stephen Roper of the University of Miami....  

ROPER: Well, you're referring to this curious taste that the Oriental literature has called Umami, which has been known by Oriental cooks for over a millennia, and has perhaps been accepted by many, but not all scientists certainly, in the recent few years, as a separate taste quality.  

NEMA: Umami's ambience makes us crave more of the foods it's in...and glutamate is found in most protein containing foods...Dr. Roper says that could make it useful eventually in the medical community...  

ROPER: uses that I've heard where it could be helpful would be in elderly nutrition...as one ages, one loses our sense of taste and smell. So, if there were some easy way to increase the palatability of food...that would be one use.  

NEMA: So, next time someone asks you for some Accent, which contains MSG, tell them it's Umami...the taste that accents taste. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.