Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a naturally occuring salt that is found in many foods, including seaweed, green teas, cheeses and tomatoes just to name a few. As a concentrated flavoring agent, MSG is frequently used in cooking to enhance the flavor of meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. MSG is sold as a white, crystalline powder, similar in appearance to table salt, in shakers or boxes.
“Aji-no-moto” literally means “the original flavor” in Japanese and is a brand name that has become synonymous with MSG. First isolated in a laboratory in 1908, MSG is a salt made from sodium and glutamic acid. Despite rumors to the contrary, both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Institute of Food Technologists have found MSG to be a safe food ingredient for the general population and is included on the FDA’s list of of foods “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).