Chemical x Dictionary

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What is Ajinomoto or E621 or MSG (monosodium glutamate)?

Ajinomoto is a white and odourless powder added to food to enhance and round up the flavour. It’s made by fermenting carb sources. MSG gives a special aroma to processed foods which is known as umami in Japanese.

What are the other names this ingredient is also known as? 

Ajinomoto, Flavour Enhancer (E 621), Flavour Enhancer (INS 621), Flavour Enhancer-621, Monosodium glutamate (E621), Monosodium Glutamate (Flavour Enhancer (E621), Monosodium Glutamate E621, MSG, Stabilizer E621

What products is it used in?

Ajinomoto is used in instant noodles, soups, chips, fast food, seasonings, masalas, heavily processed meats such as deli meats, frozen products which ensures that it stays fresh and tastes good for a longer time, fermented foods such as soy sauce, pastes to balance flavour, dairy products such as powdered milk, fresh fruits and vegetables might have msg sprayed on them to keep them fresh for longer and baby foods and formulas. 

What is the source of this ingredient?

Ajinomoto, or monosodium glutamate, is a sodium salt of glutamic acid. While it can be produced through a fermentation process using natural ingredients like starch, the MSG used commercially is often produced synthetically. The source of MSG can vary, and both natural and synthetic forms are chemically identical. Yes, it is considered to be vegan and vegetarian as Ajinomoto used as a food additive is produced through a fermentation process using bacteria cultures. 

Is this ingredient bad for me?

One can experience short term and long term consequences of MSG consumption.
Short term consequences – burning sensation at the back of your neck, blisters, weakness and fatigue – 20 minutes after consumption. Long term consequences – inflammation and asthma. This ingredient is rich in sodium and can also contribute to high blood pressure. 

What should you do?

Avoid when possible

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