MSG, or monosodium glutamate were isolated by researchers in 1907. Essentially a saline loaded with glutamic acid (an amino acid), the MSG has been used as a flavor enhancer since it was patented in 1909. MSG provides a taste called “umami”, which corresponds the tasteful experiences found in meat, potatoes and rich greens like seaweed. In recent years, several health concerns have arisen around MSG, most of which have been discounted by scientific studies. Anyway, some people still argue headache from consumption of the additive, so it’s worth knowing what foods contain it.
Because MSG simulates the salty, rich taste produced by meat, it is used in large quantities in stock. Thus one of the most concentrated sources of MSG is meat-flavoring cubes used for stocks, stews and soups.
Chinese and other Asian dishes are notorious for spawning many of the current MSG fear. While MSG powder is used by a number of Asian chefs, has the stigma attached to the powder caused most Asian restaurants to drop it from their kitchen and advertise “No MSG.” Supper and seaweed dishes are especially likely to be high in MSG.
Producers of canned meat is likely to include MSG to combat the loss of taste and likely lower quality of the meat itself. MSG will typically be included in the ingredients label as “monosodium glutamate.”
Soups are the most likely cause of MSG use in restaurants or canned foods. Since MSG can deliver a tasty sensation, the seasoning the sense that the soup is richer and thicker than it may actually be.
Those who try to avoid MSG would be wise to consider their natural forms. While MSG is an artificially derived chemical may identical chemicals found in a variety of foods. Foods rich in glutamic acid, essentially identical to MSG, include dairy products, peas, meat and potatoes. Especially high concentrations found in mushrooms and seaweed.