MSG Facts vs. Fiction Explained in Recent News Reports

MSG glutamate umami facts.jpg

Science Friday, a nonprofit organization and trusted source for news about science, reports that there is no basis for claims that MSG may cause allergies. And a new study finds that umami flavor in the form of MSG promotes feelings of fullness, helping to satisfy appetite and potentially help with...

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New Video and Infographic Explain Why MSG is Perfectly Safe


According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), monosodium glutamate (MSG) has suffered from inaccurate consumer perceptions for too long - so the non-profit organization has decided to put the consumer myths about MSG to rest. In a new video released in August 2014, ACS corrects the myths about ...

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Glutamate Is Natural

Glutamate Is Natural

Glutamate is common throughout nature. It is a component of your body and your foods. The taste-imparting property of glutamate has long been used around the world to enhance the palatability of foods.

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MSG Safe Use

MSG Safe Use

Over one hundred years ago, Professor Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University discovered the taste that is now recognized internationally as “umami.” It has been established for more than 10 years now that umami, which is the taste imparted by monosodium glutamate (MSG), stands alongside sweet, sour, salty and bitter as one of the five recognized basic tastes.

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Your Questions Answered.

Foods that are Rich in Umami Taste Have "Natural" MSG

A recent article in Business Insider, noting that monosodium glutamate (MSG) occurs naturally in many flavorful foods, poses the question, "How do you get free glutamates in your food naturally?" Glutamate in foods such as pizza

The article explains: "Monosodium glutamate is a powerful flavor enhancer that, despite what you may have heard, is widely accepted in the scientific community as a safe additive. In fact, MSG or other 'free glutamates' occur naturally in many of the most flavorful foods, some of which have been used to enhance flavor in cooking for millennia."

And how does MSG make foods flavorful? Foods that are high in glutamate (glutamic acid, an amino acid that is part of many proteins) impart the umami taste. The article notes that research has proven that MSG and glutamate-rich foods trigger special receptors in the mouth, "unlocking the savory taste known as umami."

According to the Umami Information Center, here are some foods that are high in glutamate (in mg/100g):

Marmite: 1960 mg

Soy sauce: 400-1700 mg

Parmesan cheese: 1200-1680 mg

Vegemite: 1430 mg

Roquefort cheese: 1280 mg

Dried shiitake mushrooms: 1060 mg

Oyster sauce: 900 mg

Miso: 200-700 mg

Green tea: 220-670 mg

Anchovies: 630 mg

Dry-cured ham: 340 mg

Tomatoes: 140-250 mg

Clams: 210 mg

Peas: 200 mg

Cheddar cheese: 180 mg

Oysters: 40-150 mg

Scallops: 140 mg

Shrimp: 120 mg

Corn: 70-110 mg

Potatoes: 30-100 mg

Learn more:

* the World of Umami (Umami Information Center)

* more foods with natural umami and some delicious umami-rich recipes (Reader's Digest)

* vegetarian recipes high in umami (MSGdish blog)

* the culinary connection between MSG and umami (MSGdish blog)

This article is reprinted with permission from (blog).