Recent News about MSG and Umami

By June 17, 2017News
    • A recent article in Business Insider, noting that monosodium glutamate (MSG) occurs naturally in many flavorful foods, poses the question, “How do you get free glutamates in your food naturally? 

      Spinach Lasagna 

      “The article explains: “Monosodium glutamate is a powerful flavor enhancer that, despite what you may have heard, is widely accepted in the scientific community as a safe additive. In fact, MSG or other ‘free glutamates’ occur naturally in many of the most flavorful foods, some of which have been used to enhance flavor in cooking for millennia.”
      Read more about “natural MSG“.
    • International Food Information Council issues a new Fact Sheet on MSG, titled, “Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): From A to Umami.”

      “Think about a bowl of hot pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese, a freshly grilled steak with a rich mushroom sauce, or stir-fried seafood and chicken with crisp vegetables in a savory soy sauce. In all of these dishes, there is a common flavor denominator that may be surprising to many: monosodium glutamate, also called MSG. This fact sheet provides everything you need to know about MSG and its umami flavor.”
      Read more about the Fact Sheet.

    • News article: “Feeding Fussy Kids: Top Five Ways to Get Them Eating Better Food,” published in The Guardian

      Umami for fussy kids 

      One of the five ways is to “use umami.”The author, Adam Liaw, states, “Umami (the strong, savoury flavour known as the “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter) is a fundamental part of what makes food tasty.” He adds, “It allows you to add great flavour without needing to load things up with extra sugar, fat or salt.”
      Read the full article.
    • The presence of MSG in some samples of noodles in India has become a labeling matter, not a safety concern, because the product indicates “no added MSG.”

      Elevated levels of lead are a safety concern because lead above the permissible amount induces toxic effects, while the presence of MSG is a labeling matter because the product indicates “no added MSG.” These two issues are completely separate even though many media reports have not made the distinction clear.
      Read the IGIS statement.

    • Umami Information Center holds third annual umami lecture at the Culinary Institute of America.

      Japanese cuisine, which relies heavily on the pure umami soup stock dashi, has been gaining more and more popularity. And along the fame of the Japanese cuisine, umami (pleasant savory taste), the fifth basic taste after sweet, sour, salty and bitter, has also been attaining recognition.
      Read about teaching culinary professionals more about umami.

    • MSG has gotten a bad rap for “causing” allergies – is it justified? 

      food allergies 

      “I see people all the time who are absolutely convinced that their allergic reactions are caused by MSG–it causes this, it causes that,” says allergist and immunologist Katharine Woessner of the Scripps Clinic Medical Group, who conducted a study on MSG’s effects. But, she says, “I think there’s a great misunderstanding.”“Indeed, most scientists today agree that the notion that MSG causes sickness in humans is unfounded.”
      Read this informative article from Science Friday.
    • New study finds that umami flavor promotes feelings of fullness, could help to curb appetite.

      “If you’re feeling unsatisfied after a meal, perhaps it wasn’t flavorful enough. A new study suggests that the taste umami may actually make you feel more full and satisfied…. “For a quick dash of umami, cooks have turned to monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s added to soups and other foods. Now a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that MSG can make food more appetizing and therefore help diners feel more full.”
      Read news summaries of the study.

    • Umami taste important for overall health. 

      umami aids nutrition for elderly 

      In a recent study, published in the journal Flavour, scientists from Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry in Japan developed an umami taste sensitivity test and used it on 44 elderly patients.

      The taste tests revealed that the elderly patients who had lost their taste for umami also complained of appetite and weight loss.
      Read this report from BBC News, covering a new study investigating the ability of elderly people to taste umami.