Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
Nitrogenous low-molecular-weight components are closely related to the palatability of fish and shellfish. This paper describes the composition and distribution of such major compounds as free amino acids, organic bases, guanidino compounds, opines, nucleotides and their related compounds, and peptides. It also assesses which compounds among the major components are the most effective to promote palatability, influence the basic taste, and function as flavor enhancers. High-molecular compounds including glycogen, protein, and lipid are related to the taste sensation of fish and shellfish.