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.

IFIC Fact Sheet on MSG

The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) has published a new fact sheet on monosodium glutamate and its relationship with the umami taste. The fact sheet is titled "Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): From A to Umami."

IFIC explains the purpose of the fact sheet:

"Has there ever been a taste that you enjoyed, but couldn't quite explain? Perhaps you are noticing what has been coined as the fifth taste, "umami"; a taste attributed to foods containing glutamate, an amino acid that is one of the building blocks of protein. Think about a bowl of hot pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese, a freshly grilled steak with a rich mushroom sauce, or stir-fried seafood and chicken with crisp vegetables in a savory soy sauce. In all of these dishes, there is a common flavor denominator that may be surprising to many: monosodium glutamate, also called MSG. This fact sheet provides everything you need to know about MSG and its umami flavor."

As part of the fact sheet, IFIC lists the following "Fast Facts" about monosodium glutamate:

* A natural fermentation process is used to produce MSG.

* MSG is composed of simply sodium and glutamate.

* MSG contains only one-third the amount of sodium as table salt.

* Glutamate and MSG are gluten-free.

* MSG is safe to consume, according to scientific research and several large regulatory authorities.

* MSG is not an allergen, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

* There is no scientific evidence for "MSG sensitivity." Some individuals have reported symptoms (similar to symptoms of a food allergy) after consuming MSG, but no scientific research has been able to reliably show that consuming MSG causes these symptoms.

The IFIC MSG Fact Sheet has been favorably reviewed by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The full fact sheet is available here:, or you can download the PDF here.