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Every cuisine has its characteristic ‘flavor principle,’ but umami transcends them all.

The International Glutamate Information Service (IGIS) provides up-to-date information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and umami, including umami taste, as well as the role glutamate plays in our food and our bodies, and its nutritional benefits.

monosodium glutamate

About Glutamate

MSG stands for monosodium glutamate (also known as sodium glutamate), a common food ingredient that is a pure form of glutamate, the most common amino acid in our diets. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The tongue has taste receptors for glutamate, just as it does for sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes. Glutamate is the purest taste of umami. When MSG is added to foods, it enhances and enriches their savory (umami) and rich flavors.

Our goal is to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and umami. Here you will find information about the discovery and taste of glutamate and the role it plays in our food and our bodies. Also learn about the nutritional benefits of umami and MSG related to appetite, sodium reduction, and overall health.

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Latest News about Glutamate, MSG, and Umami:

Use MSG to Reduce Sodium

A recent study suggests MSG can significantly reduce sodium while also promoting the enjoyment of better-for-you foods.

Learn How

“Scientists Know MSG Is Safe. Why Don’t Others?”

“MSG is simply sodium and glutamate, naturally present in many foods. Why is our understanding of MSG off?”

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New Research Evaluating Umami Taste and Cognitive Function

MSG may play a role in improved cognitive function in people with dementia.

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Try These Comforting and Delicious Cooking with Umami Ideas

To avoid menu boredom, now is a good time to experiment with some ways to add umami deliciousness to your home-cooked meals.

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Glutamate: The Purest Taste of Umami (brochure)

“Glutamate: The Purest Taste of Umami” is a new brochure that is updated with the latest research and fact-filled infographics.


Questions & Answers about MSG

What is MSG? How is it made? In which types of foods is MSG used? Does it occur naturally in foods as well? Does it cause side effects?

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