MSG is a flavor enhancer which has been used effectively for nearly a century to bring out the best flavor of foods. Certainly, a substance which naturally occurs in one’s body can only bring untold goodness. And this can definitely be said about glutamate. It is good for you!

1. Glutamate is the purest taste of umami, the fifth basic taste. Umami taste receptors have a special affinity for free glutamate.

2. We consume between 10g and 20g of glutamate from our diet, of which glutamate from seasoning or condiments is less than 10%.

3. Monosodium glutamate brings nothing new to the diet; the sodium salt of an amino acid found abundantly in protein.

4. The body treats glutamate in exactly the same way whether it comes from the food we eat or is added as seasoning.

5. Glutamate is important for healthy metabolism, however, most of the dietary glutamate we consume is used as fuel by the cells of the digestive system.

6. Increasing the umami taste in food by increasing the level of free glutamate can result in salt (sodium) and fat reduce recipes which still taste satisfying.

7. Replacing table salt with monosodium glutamate reduces the sodium content of recipes, as MSG contains one third of the amount of sodium.

8. Only a small amount of added glutamate is required to optimize umami taste; using more won’t do you any harm but, as with salt, the food might not taste as good.

9. The extensive body of research which exists about this widely used ingredient has bee reviewed by independent scientists and regulatory authorities throughout the world-all have found MSG to be safe.

10. Numerous well-conducted scientific studies have failed to show a connection between MSG and adverse health effects. In fact, MSG gives the benefit of umami taste.

The Food and Travel Buff

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