Friday, January 13, 2012


As a substance generating taste (flavor enhancer), use of MSG is widespread in the world community. Actually, what MSG is and how much we should consume?

Flavor which was first discovered by Prof. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo University. Japan in 1908 was used starting on street food such as meatballs, everyday food in households, food industry, to the restaurant. Ads from different brands appear almost daily in various media, such as newspapers and television.
MSG2Chemicals commonly known as MSG has long been used by housewives as a flavoring in cooking. Crystal-shaped smooth and white, is made through a fermentation process from raw material wheat and sugar (molasses), this one flavoring ingredient in the scientific name as the sodium salt of glutamic acid, or better known as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). Glutamic acid is one type of non-essential amino acid, is part of the main frame of the various types of protein molecules found in foods, whether derived from vegetable or animal.

Strangely, as generating a sense, the MSG itself has no flavor, food technology experts in Europe believe that MSG stimulates play sensitivity of cells located on the surface of human tongue. In Japan, food experts glutamic acid was first isolated from marine algae (Lamaniria Japonica), which since 1200 years ago used as a flavoring soups and other dishes. Japanese people believe that MSG has a specific taste called umami. Umami taste is a fifth basic taste, in addition to four other basic tastes, sweet, bitter, sour and salty which has long been known.

Use of MSG with a safe dose
Because the use of MSG more on Chinese food, the symptoms of allergic reactions posed called Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS), which were first discovered by Robert Ho Man Kwok year 1968. For those who are sensitive, in the amount of a few grams only, MSG can cause symptoms of CRS has, namely the back, jaw, and neck was stiff (numbness), dizziness, nausea, sweating, thirst, heat felt in the chest and pain in the muscles stomach. MSG popularity began to decline sharply after Dr. John Olney (1969) from Washington University, St. MSG Louis reported a negative impact on health. When MSG in high doses given daily as a child's diet rats, the impact can damage brain nerve cells, and makes the extra fat mice, MSG also affect the hypothalamus that is responsible and the central control of appetite, body temperature and other important functions.

Experience Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok about the CRS and John Olney research results are then used by the U.S. government as an excuse to reject the use of MSG as a food flavoring infants, children under five years and pregnant women. But lately, through the Advisory Commission FDA (Food and Drugs Administration Advisory Committee) that an evaluation of allergic reactions due to consumption of MSG, it was stated that MSG does not have the potential to threaten health.

Next MSG divided into substance GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), which means that if you consume fair amounts of MSG, no negative impact to the body. Food and drug control agency in the U.S. (FDA) set a threshold of MSG is 2-3 grams and the use of doses greater than 5 grams, CRS symptoms will appear. This determination is supported by the JECFA (Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives) and UN agencies that deal with food problems FAO.

Seasonings Natural Substitute Can Be

To overcome the MSG 100 percent safe for consumption without negative effects for health are not possible, while today there are two groups who agree and who disagree with MSG as a flavoring in our daily food. Therefore, according to the Greek philosopher Hippocrates, who lived in 500 BC, which inspired to live "Back to Nature" says, "Let your food be your medicine and medicine be your food", invites us to use natural spices as flavorings food and leave the controversial MSG.

By returning to spice - natural ingredients that have been in use centuries - ago, such as onions, tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, lime leaves, pepper, coriander and spices - the other spices. Spices - spices are not only making delicious food was also able to maintain optimal health, because it can reduce various kinds of diseases, such as headache, abdominal pain, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other diseases.

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