TO cats they like him fish, this is reality. But not all fish are the same. Anyone who has ever had a house cat knows how tuna drives them crazy. We may not have thought about the reasons, but it turns out that there is a scientific explanation. This is actually a recent explanation as it was not known for sure until recently.

A key point, according to a study published in chemical feelings, the taste of umami. This taste, discovered much later than others, is responsible for why some foods as delicious as it is addictive. We humans have no problem feeling this, but cats are especially gifted for it.

So when they eat food with rich umami tastelike tuna, they go crazy. In a metaphorical sense, of course. Plus they have catnipCathar Nepeta).

tastes on the tongue

If, when talking about tastes, you think of a typical map of the tongue with different tastes in different parts of the tongue, erase it from your memory. this card is a myth.

All tastes can be experienced on the tongue through the interaction of certain food molecules with receptors present on the tongue. taste buds. The same taste buds can distinguish different tastes because the interactions between them are very different. For example, a salty taste is perceived when the sodium present in foods with this taste crosses the channels for the passage of this ion, located in the membranes of taste cells. Umami, on the other hand, is perceived as an interaction between certain proteins and amino acids with specific receptors, partly in common with sweet. Hence, both are so pleasant.

What is umami?

Umami is a Japanese word meaning delicious and is used to refer to a very characteristic and pleasant taste, first described in 1908.

Japanese scientist named Kikunae IkedaI tried to understand why kombu seaweed, widely used in the gastronomy of its country, is so delicious. To do this, he carefully studied its composition and analyzed the effect on the language and brain of its various components.

This allowed him to make sure that it amino acid glutamate one that evokes that pleasant fragrance he called umami. Later, in 1913, one of his students, Shintaro Kodamanoticed that beautiful shavingsalso tasted umami, had a taste not of glutamate, but of another substance: ribonucleotide IMP. He later discovered that another ribonucleotide, GMPwas in charge of minds shiitake mushrooms

Ribonucleotides are very roughlittle bricks that compose RNA. Kodama saw that they could interact with glutamate, causing reactions that produced that characteristic taste. Therefore, gradually towards a list of well-defined tastes, such as sweet, salty, bitter and sour.

The discovery was so important that, over time, the taste of umami began to be enhanced by the addition of a new flavoring ingredient to many dishes: monosodium glutamate. It’s responsible for what we like Chinese food and that although we are full, we still want to eat more.

But umami is also found naturally in foods like tuna, which cats love so much.

There are many ingredients in tuna that enhance the umami taste. Credit & Copyright: Grooveland Designs (Unsplash)

Why do cats love tuna?

A team of scientists from Waltham Petcare Science Institute I wanted to know why cats love tuna. For this reason, they launched a very interesting study.

They started with genetic analysis. Humans are known to have two genes that help us decipher the umami taste of glutamate and ribonucleotides: Tas1p1 and Tas1p3. In cats, the second was previously found, but not the first. However, a new analysis of its genome also revealed the presence of Tas1r1. Initially, this would put them on our level. But we didn’t really like the tuna. There must be something else.

They put a magnifying glass on the umami reaction and finally came up with an answer. Everything is based on the order of the factors, which in this case changes the product (no, it’s not a multiplication). In man first glutamate binds to receptors and then to ribonucleotides.. However, the opposite happens in cats. The ribonucleotides bind to the receptors, activating them, so that the amino acid then comes into play. This appears to produce a more intense pleasurable response that can be observed when feeding cats these ingredients.

In addition, cats have been observed to prefer bowls containing a different amino acid. histidineand IMP, which Kodama had already found in mackerel. Both substances are found in tuna in very large quantities, so they love it.

In short, cats use umami much more than we do, and they use it even more when it comes to histidine and IMP-rich tuna umami. The next time your cat steals tuna by throwing it into a salad, don’t blame him, he just won’t be able to do anything about it.

Source: Hiper Textual

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