Using monosodium glutamate (or MSG) as an additive continues to be a major health concern. Attention centers on the negative symptoms of MSG intake. Public concerns include the possibility of hidden MSG ingredients in food labels in the market. Clamor for a better labeling regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include MSG other forms remain unheeded
The discovery of MSG started with isolation of glutamic acid by a German chemist in the late 1860s. It was not until 1908 that the flavor-enhancing potential was tapped. A Japanese professor affiliated with the salty taste that is created with the tomatoes, meat and cheese. US households began using MSG in 1940, but public attention shifted to security concerns about 20 years later because of some side effects to glutamates.
MSG is a common additive that enhances flavor. It is glutamic acid in its manufactured condition, derived from fermentation of molasses and food starches. Glutamic acid is a form of amino acid in our body. Combined with the protein, it is in many living cells. MSG can simulate meat-like flavors when glutamate receptors sense in our tongues.
The question MSG security emerged after adverse reactions were reported in cases of MSG intake. FDA maintains its classification of MSG as “generally recognized as safe,” but it recognizes that uncontrolled amounts can lead to unhealthy results. Consumers continue to be recommended by the information spread by self-help groups.
Effects of MSG ingestion
Some people who are MSG-sensitive may suffer from headaches, nausea, chest pain, fatigue, and rapid heartbeat. For those with higher tolerance, side effects may occur one hour after consuming at least 3 grams of MSG on an empty stomach. Advocacy groups argue that the life-threatening effects occur with accumulated amounts of MSG over the years, including Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and other chronic diseases.
FDA regulation states that foods with MSG must be labeled as such. No action has been made on consumer signatures to create a more comprehensive list containing MSG in its many forms. Some foods label names that contain MSG contains hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, gelatin, yeast nutrients and monopotassium glutamate.
Prevention / Solution to MSG Sensitivity
To avoid MSG its negative symptoms, consumers should read labels to avoid foods with MSG. Stay away from processed foods and drinks, as much as possible, eat food cooked in one’s own kitchen. Stick to healthy habit to wash fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating.