In 1987 the World Health Organization Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives reviewed the literature and concluded that: "the total dietary intake of glutamates...at the levels necessary to achieve the desired technological effect...do not, in the opinion of the Committee, represent a hazard to health." In 1992 the American Medical Association issued a statement that MSG did not "pose a significant public health hazard" (7).
Life Sciences Research Office (1980), "Evaluation of the health aspects of certain glutamates as food ingredients," Supplemental review and evaluation.
Kwok hypothesized that the cause of his syndrome might be a reaction to the soy sauce, the cooking wine, the high sodium content of the food, or to the flavor-enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) (1).
While food company executives are aware of the ramifications of the discussions of glutamates, they are dedicated to the mission of serving consumers the products and label information they want.
In addition to consumer preferences, food companies are anticipating the possible finalization of FDA regulations specifying that glutamate be listed on the label when HVP or autolyzed yeast is part of a flavor.
One of the first and most influential investigators of MSG safety was professor John Olney, a neurophysiologist who studied the effects of glutamate on the nervous system.
In 1988, JECFA evaluated the scientific research on MSG and concluded, "On the basis of available data chemical, biochemical, toxicological and other) the total dietary intake of glutamates arising from their use at the levels necessary to achieve the desired technological effect and from their acceptable background in food do not, in the opinion of the Committee, represent a hazard to health."
That ingredient is best known today by its scientific name -- monosodium glutamate (MSG).
MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid.
Nowadays, one of the most popular flavour enhancers is monosodium glutamate (MSG) and, once the science behind its use is understood, it is easy to see why.
Glutamate is an umbrella term used to describe glutamic acid and its various salts, including the sodium salt monosodium glutamate.
He isolated glutamic acid as the source of this taste and decided to make a food seasoning with flavour-enhancing properties: monosodium glutamate (1).