Umami flavor enhances appetite but also increases satiety

Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;100(2):532-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.080929. Epub 2014 Jun 18.


Background: Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been shown to increase satiety when combined with protein. Inosine 5'-monophosphate acts synergistically with MSG when tasted, is present in high-protein sources, and may potentially further enhance satiety.

Objective: We assessed effects of a combination of monosodium glutamate and inosine 5'-monophosphate (MSG/IMP) provided either alone or in a high-energy, high-carbohydrate and -protein soup on appetite during ingestion and postingestive satiety.

Design: Fixed portions (450 g) of a low-energy control and high-energy, high-carbohydrate and -protein soup preload with added monosodium glutamate and inosine 5'-monophosphate (MSG/IMP+) or without added monosodium glutamate and inosine 5'-monophosphate (MSG/IMP-) were consumed on 4 nonconsecutive days, and changes in appetite during soup intake and at a subsequent ad libitum lunch were assessed in 26 low-restraint volunteers by using a within-participant design.

Results: MSG/IMP+ conditions significantly reduced subsequent intake more than the MSG/IMP- condition did irrespective of energy. The high-carbohydrate and -protein condition also reduced intake independently of MSG/IMP. Energy compensation was greater in the MSG/IMP+ carbohydrate and protein conditions than MSG/IMP- condition. The addition of the MSG/IMP+ also increased the soup pleasantness and caused an immediate increase in appetite when the soup was first tasted.

Conclusion: The addition of MSG/IMP to a low-energy preload had a biphasic effect on appetite by stimulating appetite during ingestion and enhancing postingestive satiety.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Appetite Depressants / metabolism
  • Appetite Regulation*
  • Appetite Stimulants / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • England
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Flavoring Agents / metabolism*
  • Food Additives / metabolism*
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Inosine Monophosphate / metabolism*
  • Lunch
  • Male
  • Postprandial Period
  • Satiety Response*
  • Sodium Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Taste*
  • Young Adult


  • Appetite Depressants
  • Appetite Stimulants
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Food Additives
  • Inosine Monophosphate
  • Sodium Glutamate

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN14567895