August 11, 2022

Is Ajinomoto really bad for your health? – Times of India


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Ajinomoto is a popular flavour enhancer that is usually surrounded by a lot of controversy regarding its adverse effects on health. While some say it can block arteries, many say that it can cause a heart attack. But is Ajinomoto really bad for health or are all these claims just a big facade? Read on to know what Ajinomoto is and whether it is good for your health or not.
Ajinomoto or MSG (MSG or monosodium glutamate) are basically the same things. The name of the product is MSG and the Japanese company which makes it is named Ajinomoto. The product got quite popular by the name Ajinomoto itself and the company later trademarked it to secure exclusivity.

Ajinomoto or MSG is a compound made from sodium and glutamic acid, which is one of the most common naturally occurring amino acids. MSG is prepared with plant-based ingredients such as sugar cane, sugar beets, sodium, cassava or corn. It is an important part of Asian cuisine and is usually added to noodles, fried rice, soup etc.

It was created first by Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemist in 1908 after he observed that glutamic acid gave the food a unique savoury umami flavour. He then tried creating this flavour enhancer by recreating a particular flavour from kombu that is a kind of edible seaweed.
It was later in 1909 when a Japanese company named Ajinomoto started commercially manufacturing and selling MSG, this flavouring rose to fame.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe” which puts an end to all the claims certifying MSG as dangerous. It goes without saying that MSG should be used in small quantities and excess or regular use of this flavouring can be harmful to your body.

MSG is just a flavouring made with glutamic acid, which is a common amino acid found in foods like vegetables, cheese, tomatoes, fish, meat, eggs, lentils and other dairy products. MSG is also not non-vegetarian, as it is a chemical product created using naturally occurring substances.
We can safely conclude that MSG itself cannot induce a heart attack and neither cause a terminal illness. It is safe to use in small quantities and is not toxic for your health.

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