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MSG / Monosodium GlutamateMonosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. It has been classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and by the European Union as a food additive. MSG has the HS code 29224220 and the E number E621. The glutamate of MSG confers the same umami taste of glutamate from other foods, being chemically identical. Industrial food manufacturers market and use MSG as a flavor enhancer because it balances, blends and rounds the total perception of other tastes. Trade names of monosodium glutamate include Ajinomoto, Vetsin, and Ac'cent.

Usage
Pure MSG does not have a pleasant taste until it is combined with a consonant savory smell. As a flavor and in the right amount, MSG has the ability to enhance other taste-active compounds balancing and rounding the overall taste of certain dishes. MSG mixes well with meat, fish, poultry, many vegetables, sauces, soups and marinades, and increases the overall preference of certain foods like beef consomme. But like other basic tastes except sucrose, MSG improves the pleasantness only in the right concentration.

An excess of MSG quickly ruins the taste of a dish. Although this concentration varies with the type of food, in clear soup the pleasantness score rapidly falls with more than 1 g of MSG per 100 ml. Moreover, there is an interaction between MSG and salt (sodium chloride) and other umami substances such as nucleotides. All need to be in an optimum concentration for maximum palatability. With these properties, MSG can be used to reduce salt intake (sodium), which predisposes to hypertension, heart diseases and stroke. The taste of low-salt foods improves with MSG even with a 30% salt reduction. The sodium content (in mass percent) of MSG is roughly 3 times lower (12%) than in sodium chloride (39%). Other salts of glutamate have been used in low-salt soups, but with a lower palatability than MSG.

 

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Fructose


Glucose


MSG


Sodium Citrate


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