Saturday, June 5, 2021

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate belongs to the larger group of chemicals that are labeled “glutamate.” Glutamate is one of many different amino acids, which are considered to be the building blocks of proteins. Glutamate itself is regarded as one of the most important components in proteins.

MSG produces a flavor that cannot be provided by other foods. It elicits a taste described in Japanese as umami, which is translated to ‘‘savory’’.

Glutamic acid was discovered and identified in 1866 by the German chemist Karl Heinrich Ritthausen, who treated wheat gluten with sulphuric acid. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University isolated glutamic acid as a taste substance in 1908 from the seaweed Laminaria japonica (Kombu) by aqueous extraction and crystallization, calling its taste umami.

In the past, MSG was extracted from foods rich in protein such as algae. Currently, MSG is produced by an industrial fermentation process. It is a flavor enhancer that we find in the enamel, most of the Asian dishes, sauces, soups, spices, etc.

MSG is widely used all over the world as a flavor enhancer in food and spices, similar to the flavoring function provided by glutamate which occurs naturally in some foods.

MSG itself is simply comprised of water, sodium and glutamate.9 MSG has no texture or smell of its own, and therefore serves to emphasize the natural flavor of the food itself, rather than adding an independent flavor.
Monosodium glutamate

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