10 Things You Should Know about Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Glutamate is the purest taste of umami, the fifth basic taste. Umami taste receptors have a special affinity for free glutamate.
- We consume between 10 and 20 grams of glutamate from our diet, of which glutamate from seasoning or condiments is less than 10%.
- Monosodium glutamate brings nothing new to the diet. It is the sodium salt of an amino acid found abundantly in protein.
- The body treats glutamate in exactly the same way whether comes from the food we eat or is added as seasoning.
- 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.
- Increasing the umami taste in food by increasing the level of free glutamate can result in salt (sodium) and fat-reduced recipes which still taste satisfying.
- Replacing table salt with MSG will reduce the sodium content of recipes, as MSG contains one third of the amount of sodium.
- 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.
- The extensive body of research which exists about glutamate has been reviewed by independent scientists and regulatory authorities around the world — all have found MSG to be safe.
- Numerous well-conducted scientific studies have failed to show a connection between MSG and adverse health effects.
Visit MSGfacts.com for answers to frequently asked questions about MSG, glutamate, and umami.