Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is also known as sodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of glutamatic acid. MSG is found naturally in some foods including cheese and tomatoes. It is used in cooking as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty savory flavor of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in foods such as meat soups and stews. Here Joanne Washburn, Food.news, reflects on savory flavor enhancer MSG, which is considered bad for you:
“Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely used as a flavor enhancer and is typically added to Chinese food, canned soups, processed meats and fast food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies MSG as a food ingredient that is “generally recognized as safe.” Despite this, the use of MSG remains controversial.
MSG has been widely used in Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines since its discovery in the early 19th century. However, MSG rose to notoriety when a physician wrote to the New England
Journal of Medicine about the possible causes of a syndrome he experienced whenever he ate at Chinese restaurants in the United States.
In particular, the physician described feeling numbness at the back of his neck, which would later spread to his arms and back. He also described general weakness and heart palpitations. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of similar symptoms in people who ate foods that had MSG.
Experts looking into the link between MSG and these symptoms — which would later be called the MSG symptom complex — initially reported that there was no relationship between the two. However, they did acknowledge that people can have acute reactions to MSG. As such, when MSG is added to foods, the FDA requires manufacturers to list the ingredient on their labels.
As it stands, the only way to prevent a reaction to MSG is to avoid foods containing it. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done due to how prevalent the use of MSG is in the food industry.
A prevalent and potentially dangerous ingredient
MSG is typically associated with Chinese cuisine, but that’s no longer the case. The infamous flavor enhancer is also used in canned and processed foods. MSG remains a popular ingredient among home cooks because of its ability to amplify “umami,” a category of taste that corresponds to the flavor of glutamate.”
Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2021-09-23-msg-used-in-processed-foods.html
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