“MSG is the most misunderstood ingredient of the century. That’s finally changing.”
— CNN.com report by Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN.com, May 10, 2023
Excerpts from the report:
“Calvin Eng, the owner of New York-based Cantonese-American restaurant Bonnie’s, isn’t shy about his love for monosodium glutamate. ‘Things just taste better with MSG, whether it’s Western food or Cantonese food,’ the chef tells CNN.
“When people tell me that they ate at a Chinese food restaurant and they had trouble breathing and tightness in their chest, I get worried – and I’d say, ‘you need to follow up on that because MSG is not an allergen. It’s not going to cause an allergic response. Our bodies make glutamate, so it would not be possible to have an allergy to glutamate’,” says Tia Rains, a Chicago-based nutrition scientist and Ajinomoto’s vice president of customer engagement and strategic development.
“Despite continued claims of negative reactions to MSG from diners, decades of scientific trials have failed to prove the existence of MSG sensitivity. Government organizations around the world have listed MSG as safe to eat. This includes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which lists MSG as ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS).
“Yet negative opinions continue to permeate discussions on MSG, leaving the marketing team of Ajinomoto busy as it works to change attitudes.
“All these years later, we haven’t really made a dent in sodium levels in the food supply, at least in the U.S.,” says Tia Rains, a Chicago-based nutrition scientist and Ajinomoto’s vice president of customer engagement and strategic development.
“We’ve got a tool to help product developers get there and we’re not using it because of a silly, outdated, xenophobic and potentially racist negativity around a food ingredient that has been consumed for over 100 years. It was too big of a challenge to walk away from.”