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Offline dentstudent

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Is Monosodium glutamate bad for you?
« on: 11/06/2007 10:38:05 »
Well, any thing in quantity is, but MSG has had a bad rap over "Chinese Restaurant" syndrome, which I think has been disproved. My question is, as it is a form of sodium, does it have the same deleterious properties as salt: ie high blood pressure etc. Can I use it safely as a salt alternative to get that nice "umami" flavour?


 

paul.fr

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Is Monosodium glutamate bad for you?
« Reply #1 on: 11/06/2007 10:42:00 »
origionally posted by another-someone

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251
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Monosodium glutamate (MSG): What is it and is it harmful?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that is "generally recognized as safe," the use of MSG remains controversial.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. But subsequent research found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and the symptoms that some people described after eating food containing MSG. As a result, MSG is still added to some foods.

A comprehensive review of all available scientific data on glutamate safety sponsored by the FDA in 1995 reaffirmed the safety of MSG when consumed at levels typically used in cooking and food manufacturing. The report found no evidence to suggest that MSG contributes to any long-term health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease. But it did acknowledge that some people may have short-term reactions to MSG. These reactions known as MSG symptom complex may include:

  • Headache, sometimes called MSG headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Sense of facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. However, some people report more severe reactions. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. When MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that "monosodium glutamate" be listed on the label or on the menu, in restaurants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate
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Discovery

Despite its ubiquity in common food products, the flavour contributions made by glutamate and other amino acids were only scientifically identified early in the twentieth century. In 1907, Japanese researcher Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University identified brown crystals left behind after the evaporation of a large amount of kombu broth as glutamic acid. These crystals, when tasted, reproduced the ineffable but undeniable flavour he detected in many foods, most especially in seaweed. Professor Ikeda termed this flavour "umami." He then patented a method of mass-producing a crystalline form of glutamic acid, MSG.

Commercialization

The Ajinomoto (味の素) company was formed to manufacture and market MSG in Japan; the name 'Ajinomoto' means "essence of taste". It was introduced to the United States in 1947 as Ac'cent flavor enhancer.

Modern commercial MSG is produced by fermentation[2] of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. About 1.5 million metric tons were sold in 2001, with 4% annual growth expected.[3] MSG is used commercially as a flavour enhancer. Once stereotypically associated with food in Chinese restaurants, it is now more often found in many of the most common food products consumed in the US:

  • most canned soups of the US food industry like Campbell's (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most beef and chicken stocks of the US food industry like Swansons (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most flavored potato chip products of the US food industry, like Laura Scudders
  • many other snack foods
  • many frozen dinners
  • instant meals such as the seasoning mixtures for instant noodles.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=6856.0

 

Offline dentstudent

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Is Monosodium glutamate bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: 11/06/2007 11:55:35 »
thanks Paul! So, to me, this gives MSG pretty much the all clear for blood pressure responses.
 

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Is Monosodium glutamate bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: 11/06/2007 11:55:35 »

 

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