Restaurants blare it out loud – NO MSG! An assurance that the compound will not get in your system. A statement that declares MSG not can, but is harmful.
But wait a minute, the acronymic named ingredient standing for Monosodium Glutamate is as natural as salt or sugar. No one can be allergic to amino acids such as MSG because they are naturally present in the human body. Glutamate is an amino acid that is used to make proteins in food and our body. Glutamate is in parmesan cheese, tomato sauce, soy sauce or by spreading Marmite yeast extract on your toast, if you like Marmite. That is why pasta with cheese and/or with tomato sauce is popular.
The misunderstanding and legend started in 1968 when there were reports that one person, just one, had a bad reaction to Chinese restaurant food with flushing, numbness and a headache. Since then it has been dubbed called the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome supposedly because the restaurant in questionwas using MSG on its dishes.
You know what, since 1968 scientists have not been able to prove the connection between the symptoms and MSG.
Glutamates are naturally present in discernible quantities in ripe tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms (that’s why they taste meaty), fish,cheese, yogurt, red wine (actually, in anything fermented), meat, and seaweed. Many prepackaged goods in the supermarkets contain MSG such as cookies and crackers, condiments, salad dressings, soups, potato chips, cured meats, frozen dinner plates to name a few. You can’t escape it. You are consuming it whether you know it or not.
Seaweed is the original source that led to the discovery of glutamates. In the early 1900s, Mr. Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese biochemist, noted that the savory, meaty, and ultimately satisfying taste of his favorite dried kombu seaweed broth was not represented by the four tastes (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter).Mr. Ikeda identified and named the fifth taste as umami.
In 1908, Mr. Ikedaisolated the protein responsible for the umami taste sensation AND started a year later the Ajinomoto company producing glutamate salt which we now see in grocery stores.
Glutamates like MSG bump the flavor of the ingredients up a notch, that umami sense and that’s all they do. If ever, the worse thing MSG can do is to invigorate your appetite and make you eat more.
Health Canada has declared that MSG is not a health hazard. The US FDA has given MSG a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) designation – meaning there are no tolerance amount limits.But in the first place, why would you overdose with salt or sugar? You can’t do it – the same with MSG.
Although there are reports that MSG is an excitotoxin, which when overly abundant in the brain can cause neurons to die. However the FDA has found out that the glutamate in MSG (monsodium glutamate), although related to brain glutamate does not appear to get into the brains of adults very well. It can get into the brains of infants and be toxic to brain cells, however, which is why the FDA has not approved it for use in baby food.
So next time you’re eating out, to make your order yummier, ask for seasoning Accent, Ajinomoto, Vetsin or Sazon (in Latino menu), all MSGs. This will shock and educate your company. And if you feel bloated, groggy to the point of feeling drugged, most likely it’s because you overate.
MSG comes in many names:
MSG comes in many names:
Additives that always contain MSG:
· Monosodium Glutamate
· Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
· Hydrolyzed Protein
· Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
· Plant Protein Extract
· Sodium Caseinate
· Calcium Caseinate
· Yeast Extract
· Textured Protein
· Autolyzed Yeast
· Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Additives that frequently contain MSG:
· Malt extract
· Malt Flavoring
· Bouillon Broth
· Stock Flavoring
· Natural Flavoring
· Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring
· Seasoning Spices
Additives that may contain MSG and/or other excitotoxins:
· Carrageeenan Enzymes (Protease enzymes from various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.)
· Soy Protein Concentrate
· Soy Protein Isolate Whey
· Protein Concentrate.
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