There are two different views on it. In most of the articles (review paper and research paper) it is considered that there are only four basic tastes
However, there is a fifth type of taste quality called “Umami” or “Savory” known be discovered in 1908 by a Japanese researcher, Kikunae Ikeda.
The savory taste comes from protein-rich food items like meat, fish and cheese. Umami is the characteristic taste imparted by monosodium L-glutamate (MSG), and 5′-ribonucleotides such as disodium 5′-inosinate (IMP) and disodium 5′-guanylate (GMP). The scientific community received this discovery with moderate applause only
- Sweet taste is the taste of sugars (mono and disaccharides) which is widely found in ripen fruits
- Bitter taste is found in large number of plants and is the most sensitive among the five. Note that most of the plants having bitter taste can be toxic. Examples of bitter food products include bitter guard or bitter melon, cocoa, green tea and different herbs and spices
- Sourness or tartness is the taste of acidic solutions like lemon juice and vinegar. We can consume the sour products when it is mild but becomes unpleasant when strong. Interestingly weak acids have a stronger sour taste than strong acids at the same pH level. Acids like citric, tartaric, malic lactic acid are causes behind the sourness of many food products
- Salty taste is caused by sodium, chloride and the mineral salts potassium and magnesium. Many green vegetables and sea foods contain significant amount of sodium. Also found in meats.
- Savory or umami comes from protein building blocks (amino acids) found naturally in protein-rich foods like meat, fish and cheese