Diet and NutritionFactsFood

Taste enhancer we have been eating for ages: Ajinomoto

Food product acceptability depends on two factors, taste and nutrition. Customers prefer taste over nutrition giving a chance to the companies to manipulate our taste buds. Taste enhancers are substances that help to modify or increase the intensity of the perceived taste or smell of food and have no taste of its own. Ajinomoto is one of the most famous taste enhancers.

Nowadays this taste enhancer is so famous that we can easily find it in any commercial kitchen.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc. is a Japanese food and biotechnology corporation which produces seasoning, cooking oil, frozen food, beverages, sweeteners, amino acids and pharmaceuticals.

AJI-NO-MOTO which means “essence of taste”

Ajinomoto is the trade name of Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) that the company sells.

What is Ajinomoto?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as sodium glutamine, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. MSG is found naturally in some foods including tomatoes and cheese. It is used in cooking as a flavour enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savoury flavour of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in food such as stews and meat soups.

Biochemist Kikunae Ikeda created MSG by an accident. He was trying to isolate and duplicate the savoury taste of kombu, an edible seaweed used as a base for many Japanese soups.

It balances, blends, and rounds the perception of other tastes. It is very common to see it in a commercial kitchen.

The basic sensory function of MSG is attributed to its ability to enhance savoury taste-active compounds when added in the proper concentration. The optimum concentration varies by food, the pleasure score rapidly falls with the addition of more than one gram of MSG per 100ml.

The controversy begins with the fact that the FDA has given MSG a generally recognized as safe(GRAS) designation. But it is a popular belief that MSG causes the “Chinese restaurant syndrome” in which the headaches and discomfort are common symptoms.

Ajinomoto evaluation

Common Problems of Ajinomoto

  • Sweating is the common issue of Ajinomoto. Excess usage of sodium salt can lead to brain damage
  • It can lead to laziness. Even cold or sneezing are other health issues.
  • Consuming Ajinomoto, burning stomach sensation can be experienced.
  • Joint and muscle pain specifically in knees. In fact, it reduces bone strength and also calcium content
  • At the same time, it can lead to fluctuations in blood pressure level. Since high or low blood pressure levels, an arrhythmia is the major side effect of having MSG

Have you ever felt the same, comment and let us know.

Article by,

Haroshit Tandon, admin

Student, NIFTEM

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