MSG Facts vs. Fiction Explained in Recent News Reports

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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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What is Monosodium glutamate (MSG)?
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Monosodium Glutamate & Umami

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Glutamate was first identified more than 100 years ago by the German chemist Heinrich Ritthausen, but it was Professor Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University who in 1908 described its effect on the taste of food for the first time and named this taste "Umami". After isolating glutamate as the source of umami taste from the traditional Japanese kelp broth, Ikeda invented a method to isolate glutamate from wheat protein galled gluten. He tested many different glutamate salts such as sodium, calcium, potassium, but the one that was more stable and had clear umami taste was sodium glutamate. This is how the umami seasoning monosodium glutamate (MSG) was born. Mono meaning one, monosodium glutamate refers to the salt of glutamate that contains only one molecule of sodium. Today, MSG is made by the fermentation of starches such as sugar cane or molasses and does not contain gluten.

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Glutamate is also commonly found in many umami rich foods. such as tomatoes, cheese, meats, and many fermented soy and fish sauces, Hence, although the classification of umami as a basic taste is a recent development, fermented fish products such as nam pla in Thailand and nuoc mum in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries have used them traditionally to enhance the flavor and add umami to their dishes. The level of free glutamate in these fermented fish products is as high as Parmesan cheese. People have actually been familiar with umami for centuries without recognizing the term as a part of the stocks or bouillon in Europe, tomato sauce and cheese in Italy and Greece, fish sauce called "Garum" in ancient Rome, and soy sauce in Southeastern Asian countries.