A flavor enhancer is a substance that can supplement or enhance the original flavor of a food. The flavor enhancer itself can have no umami taste, but it can increase the natural flavor of the food. According to the chemical nature, the flavor enhancer can be divided into two types: amino acid series and nucleotide series. The amino acid series includes sodium glutamate and the like, and the nucleotide series includes 5'-disodium guanylate, disodium 5'-inosinate, and the like.
The most common amino acid flavor enhancer is sodium glutamate, also known as MSG, which is obtained from food by microbial fermentation. Nucleotide flavor enhancers are widely found in various foods. For example, poultry contains a large amount of creatine, and mushrooms and other fungi contain a large amount of guanylic acid. Nucleotides not only have a unique umami taste, but also improve the flavor of other foods, especially the taste of meat. Therefore, nucleotide odorants are often used in processed foods such as meat sauce and canned meat. The flavor enhancement efficiency is about 10 times that of the same weight MSG. Experiments have shown that the combination of amino acid series and nucleotide series flavor enhancers has obvious synergistic effects. In China, 5'-guanosine disodium, 5'-inosinic acid disodium, 5'-flavored nucleotide disodium and MSG can be used in various foods according to the production needs.