Ajinomoto Group aims to sensitise people on MSG

Atsushi Mishuku (Managing Director, Ajinomoto India Private Limited) and Govinda Biswas (Manager – Marketing, Ajinomoto India Pvt. Ltd)

Chennai: Since 1909, Ajinomoto Group has been a global manufacturer of seasonings, processed foods, beverages, and amino acids. Today, it operates in 27 countries. The group’s MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – a taste enhancer that induces a sense of satisfaction when consumed – has repeatedly faced backlash regarding its health standards. The group says, Ajinomoto has been associated with terms like “artificial” and “dangerous” without scientific proof.

In conversation with News Today, marketing manager of Ajinomoto Group, Govinda Biswas detailed about their MSG’s manufacturing process and how they have been dealing with its misconception. He said, “We have been conducting seminars yearly to educate public. We have separate seminars for nutritionists and chefs too. Apart from Chennai, we have reached out to cities like Madurai and Coimbatore. We have also created awareness videos on YouTube about MSG.”

To clarify safety of MSG, Govinda highlighted that glutamate is abundantly available in natural foods like tomatoes, onion, cheese and milk. He then explained how MSG is just a more concentrated version of the same. He said, “The same glutamic acid is present in breast milk and it is the highest constituent. The function of glutamate is that it improves taste. So if this is present in a food dish, it simply enhances the flavour.” Govinda stated Ajinomoto only uses natural ingredients like tapioca and sugarcane.

According to the group, their MSG is an Umami seasoning. The safety of the product has been certified by FSSAI in India, by FDA in USA, Thailand and is Food Safety Certified in Australia and New Zealand. Govinda added, “The problem in Indian market is that more than 90 per cent of MSG found here is fake. These products have impurities and they do not carry FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) seal. They have same design and price is 40 per cent lesser than Ajinomoto’s MSG.” He noted that the group has requested government and FSSAI to take action.

( This article was reported by SADAKSHI KR )