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10 Things You Didn’t Know About MSG

By June 25, 2021MSG
monosodium glutamate and umami

An “oldie but goodie” article, full of timely facts about monosodium glutamate, clearly explains why MSG, the popular flavor enhancer, gets “one heck of a bad rap.”

The article, published in The Daily Meal, written by editor Dan Myers, explains:
“First of all, what exactly is monosodium glutamate (also called just sodium glutamate)? As a commercial product, it’s a white powder that looks similar to salt, and that is very popular in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine. It doesn’t have an especially pleasing flavor on its own, but when added in the right quantity to various foods it lends them a rich, savory element, and balances and rounds off the flavors that are present, giving everything an umami-like kick.”

“So while MSG may get a bad rap, it’s simply a product that amplifies flavors that already exist in food, sending the same chemical messages to your brain that all-natural food would. In many ways, it’s just like salt: It’s already present in food, but adding some during the cooking process makes food taste better. Adding a sprinkle of MSG to your cooking is the same thing as adding fish sauce or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano: It boosts the umami factor.”

“Read on to learn 10 facts about MSG, and the next time someone tells you that they don’t eat MSG because they think it will make them sick, remind them that it’s a naturally occurring flavor enhancer found in thousands of foods.”

Full article: 


The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.

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