A new study published in the Journal of Food Science gained new insights into the chemical composition of umami compounds in two different products. Umami is often referend to as the fifth taste, joining sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Umami taste is described as savory. The current study examined umami fractions from red oncom, a fermented product made from the solid waste of the soybean curd process, and black oncom, which is similar to red oncom but made from defatted peanut cake. Both oncoms are used in foods prepared in Indonesia.

The researchers characterized umami fractions from both oncom products by using ultrafiltration and chromatography. They were able to isolate umami fractions that they reported as “intense umami taste.” Chemical characterizations of the fractions found the presence of free glutamic acid, free phenylalanine, and peptides containing their residual amino acids, according to the study.

“Umami fractions of red and black oncoms can be used as a source of umami compounds for food industries and food services,” wrote the researchers in the study. “The information from this paper can be used by other researchers who will explore umami peptides.”


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