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Tags: monosodium glutamate | gluten | MSG

Short History of MSG

By Tuesday, 05 November 2019 04:47 PM Current | Bio | Archive

For thousands of years, Japanese cooks have used a seaweed broth called kombu, or “sea tangle,” to enhance the taste of their recipes.

But it wasn’t until 1908 that Japanese chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda isolated the ingredient that was enhancing the taste — the amino acid glutamate.

At the time, it was suggested that glutamate stimulated special taste receptors on the tongue, transmitting to the brain a sensation of intense, pleasurable flavor. This taste was later named “umami.”

During World War II, American soldiers reported that Japanese rations tasted much better than American rations.

Soon after the war, Army’s Quartermaster Corps shared the secret of glutamate and umami with major food processors in the United States, including Pillsbury, Oscar Mayer, Libby’s, and Campbell’s.

The form of glutamate later added to processed foods in the U.S. was a mixture of sodium and glutamic acid called monosodium glutamate (MSG).

It’s the glutamate in the compound that causes damage. In fact, any form of glutamate, any glutamate-containing additive, and even foods that are high in glutamate levels have the potential to be detrimental to a person’s health.

The world’s primary manufacturer of MSG is the Ajinomoto company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with affiliates in 23 countries. The term ajinomoto is Japanese for “essence of taste.”

The amount of glutamate additives being put in processed foods has doubled every decade since the late 1940s. By 1972, 262,000 metric tons of MSG had been added to processed foods.

Today, the major sources of MSG come from processing starch, sugar beets, and cane sugar or molasses.

Interestingly, wheat gluten was previously used as a source for glutamate additives, because gluten has high glutamate levels (30 grams of glutamate per 100 grams of wheat gluten).

I believe that the high glutamate content of gluten is why so many people — especially autistic children — have bad reactions to gluten-containing foods.

Most wheat today is genetically engineered to have much higher glutamate levels than occur naturally.

Worse yet, additional glutamate is added to processed wheat-based foods, including breads and pasta.

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The amount of glutamate additives being put in processed foods has doubled every decade since the late 1940s. By 1972, 262,000 metric tons of MSG had been added to processed foods.
monosodium glutamate, gluten, MSG
Tuesday, 05 November 2019 04:47 PM
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