Mediterranean umami, a wild card for the food industry


Maintain flavor by drastically reducing salt. The ideal combination, combining flavor and health, is called Umami Mediterranean. And it could prove to be the ingredient capable of mitigating the poor nutritional profile of salty snacks and ultra-processed foods, which are also harmful because of their excessive salt content, a contributor to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It is worth mentioning that average salt consumption, in Europe, remains double the WHO(World Health Organization, or WHO) recommended safe threshold of 5 grams per day.

Umami, the fifth taste in Med version

Umami is defined as the fifth taste perceived by humans, in addition to sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Corresponds to savory, savory. Discovered by the Japanese, it is also recognizable in some typical foods of the Mediterranean diet: tomatoes, parmesan cheese, for example.

Mediterranean Umami is precisely the Med version declination of the flavor capable of replacing salt while maintaining the palatability of the food. The commercial formulation is from Israel’s Salt of the Earth, which has been marketing salt since 1922.

Sodium reduced by up to 45%

Mediterranean Umami included in the recipe as a salt substitute-in a 1:1 ratio-can reduce sodium by up to 45 percent. The company first developed the liquid version, then the powder version, which is more suitable for the food industry.

The ingredients of Mediterranean Umami are few and simple. Unfortunately, the list is not clearly communicated. We infer this from the packaging of the liquid version shown on the company website:

– tomato paste,

– water,

– sea salt,

– mushrooms,

– Algae extract.

Certified kosher and halal, Mediterranean Umami is suitable for a vegan diet and contains no artificial ingredients, GMOs, gluten, MSG (monosodium glutamate) or yeast extracts.

A valuable growth opportunity for the food industry, whose unbalanced recipes are now obvious even to consumers. At least in more virtuous countries, where transparent labels of the NutriScore kind are already adopted.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".