The flavor on the cusp of food trends adds richness, roundness and craveability to everything from meat and salad dressing to chocolate mousse. Kokumi, a Japanese word, roughly translates to “rich taste” or “delicious,” depending on who you ask. While some consider it to be the sixth taste, this flavor enhancer serves a more important purpose. Kokumi adds craveability. “It’s a taste sensation,” Nicole Warren told Food Dive. She’s the PR and marketing supervisor for Ajinomoto, the Japanese flavor company that first isolated kokumi compounds in the 1980s. “It creates this roundness you never knew you wanted unless you tasted it.” Kokumi is predominantly found in the realm of Japanese cuisine, where its taste sensation occurs naturally in fermented foods like alcohol, soy sauce, fish sauces and shrimp paste. The items that cause that feeling have been isolated at the protein level and concentrated into a powder compound by Ajinomoto Co. That compound can then be added to fresh and packaged foods to increase the feel of flavors in the mouth. Despite having an identifiable effect, kokumi has a nebulous definition. As a component of taste, it is a sensation scientists have had ...