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MSG--Use it or ban it

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Monosodium glutamate, MSG for short, has a bad rep. It is a natural organic chemical that exists naturally in all fruits, vegetables and meats. You consume it daily. Some foods are rich in MSG, such as Roquefort and Parmesan cheeses, soy sauce and nuts; all meats, poultry and seafood contain a lot. Vegetables also contain plenty, with champion amounts in peas and corn. Milk and dairy products are MSG rich, and even mothers’ milk contains a modest amount.

Some of today’s MSG is still produced from seaweed; others are extracted through a fermentation process of molasses.

MSG does not change the flavor of foods (like spices do) even the slightest. It only changes your perception of the flavor by chemically affecting your taste buds, like the bite from a hot chili does.

The way MSG enhances food flavors is almost like magic—it markedly accentuates and sharpens flavors with a pleasant mouthfeel, the sensation of satisfaction, richness and fullness. It also reduces perception of the sharp, unpleasant edge of onion taste; the earthiness of potatoes; and the bitterness of some vegetables. In addition, it generates an agreeable meaty flavor. A small amount of MSG creates the perception of saltiness in foods, so much so that processors with a tiny amount of additional MSG can reduce salt by up to 30 percent and not lose the satisfying salty flavor.

Many cooks and chefs keep MSG on their shelves next to their salt shaker. If you decide to use it, add ½ a teaspoon per 4 to 6 servings of soups, stews and sauces. You can add MSG during or near the end of the cooking process.

(Excerpt from my book What Recipes Don't Tell You)
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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post #2 of 7
People are eating it every day but I don't see any evidence of any serious diseases linked directly to it so I never really saw what the big fuss about it was. A lot of people look at it as a man made chemical which they immediately frown on. Then the whole "natural" thing suddenly making it ok.
post #3 of 7
Actually, "MSG" is NOT  a natural substance, nor is it "organic", nor does it occur naturally in foods.

Professor Kikunae Ikeda isolated L-glutamic acid from seaweed in 1907.  He described it as "anji no moto" or, in English, "the essence of taste".

Kikunae hooked the glutamate onto an inorganic sodium ion and came up with "Monosodium glutamate", an unnatural compound.  No foods naturally contain "MSG". 

And not many vegetables contain any glutamic acid or forms thereof, and those few that do -- ripe tomatoes and asparagus, for instance -- don't contain as much as fermented foods, meats, shellfish and "sea vegetables".

With that said, there is no evidence that MSG is injurious, toxic or otherwise harmful to humans.

And with that said, MSG is used by bad Chinese restaurants and bad chefs who don't use the best ingredients and need some help in kicking their foods up a notch.

Joe
post #4 of 7
http://www.msgtruth.org/ is  just one of many web sites and pages that focus on MSG.  Others are more positive about the product, such as http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251.
Schmoozer
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Schmoozer
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post #5 of 7
Many foods contain msg naturally.  Personally, I won't add it as a separate ingredient to my dishes.  I just try to use tasty, fresh, good ingredients in my cooking.  Many of which do contain msg.

I like them, so I use them.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 7
You can find nitrates naturally, but they are preservatives that are bad for you. Cholesterol is natural, but excess is bad.
Gludammic acid is the base of sugar destruction chain. the Krebs cycle. It is a base for aminoacids (glutamine).
The problem I see with abuse of glutammic acid (or its salt MSG) is that creates a sort of taste addiction. Everything should taste like that and you tend to get more and more.
I am for banning it as caution.
post #7 of 7
i always try to avoid eating foods with added msg and i prefer not to cook with any foods with added msg either
we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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