Who We Are
As a leading manufacturer in the frozen food industry, Ajinomoto Foods North America is dedicated to contributing to a healthier lifestyle through nutritious and balanced foods. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, all our products are cooked with our customers in mind, providing healthy and delicious meals for all.
We currently operate eight factories and two main offices domestically in the United States. With over 2,500 employees working around the clock, we serve as a brand leader across all categories of frozen foods.
Our products span across the largest categories of ethnic frozen foods ranging from Mexican to Italian to Asian across every distribution channel including foodservice, grocery, warehouse club, and custom manufacturing.
The origin of “Umami”–the fifth taste–begins with the two founding fathers of the Ajinomoto Group: Dr. Kikunae Ikeda and Saburosuke Suzuki II.
Umami joins tastes such as sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. These are all unique and cannot be created by mixing other tastes–they are known as primary tastes. Umami provides a pleasant, savory sensation that balances the four other options.
The origins of Umami began when Japanese professor Dr. Ikeda identified glutamate as the substance responsible for a new taste. Ikeda’s discovered Umami as he experimented with broth made from seaweed (kombu). Through careful research of the kombu broth, Dr. Ikeda discovered glutamate, an amino acid, gave kombu the distinctive taste.
In 1909, Dr. Ikeda and businessman Saburosuke Suzuki II joined together with a vision to improve the nutrition of Japanese people. They created the Ajinomoto Group to begin marketing Umami through the product AJI-NO-MOTO®.
Over the years, Umami has become an increasingly popular topic and the growing use of Umami has increased globally. Many people worldwide have adapted the taste into their cooking because:
- It contributes to a healthier diet as the savory flavor can still be reached through the use of Umami and lower sodium.
- It highlights the intrinsic flavors of the ingredients.
- It improves the quality of life for the elderly. Umami is believed to promote salivation and heighten the sense of taste, thus improving their quality of life.
To read further about Umami, please visit the Umami Information Center.