After secondary school, he attended a university preparatory school and studied chemistry at the Imperial University in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He completed his studies in 1889. In 1891 he became a professor at the higher normal school (later Tokyo University of Education ).
In 1896 he became an assistant professor of chemistry at this university, which was renamed the Imperial University of Tokyo.
In 1899 he went to Germany to study physical chemistry at the University of Leipzig for two years .
From May to October 1901 he stayed in London, where he stayed in the same hostel as Natsume Sōseki . After his return home, he was appointed full professor. In 1902 he received the degree of Doctor of Science.
In 1907 he discovered the fifth sense of taste , which he called umami (Japanese: ま 味, う ま み), from umai (Japanese: う ま い) for “delicious” and mi (Japanese: 味) for “taste”. In 1908 he isolated crystalline monosodium glutamate from kombu ( seaweed ) and established the connection between glutamate and the taste-enhancing effect of seaweed. Ikeda's invention is now used as a spice Ajinomoto sold.
In 1923 he retired from university operations and devoted himself to improving the production of monosodium glutamate.
- If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache? , Article on the discovery of umami and glutamate
- 十大 発 明 家 . Japanese Patent Office, September 20, 2000,accessed December 12, 2008(Japanese).
- Shin-ichi Ohkoshi: Kikunae Ikeda (Discoverer of "Umami"). University of Tokyo , accessed August 22, 2017 .
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||池田 菊 苗 (Japanese)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Japanese physical chemist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 8, 1864|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Kyoto Prefecture|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 3, 1936|