What Does Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) Taste Like


MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most common naturally occurring amino acids. The chemical formula is C5H8O4NNa. the molar mass is 169.111g/mol. It is usually white crystal or powder, odorless and stable to light.


What does monosodium glutamate(MSG) taste like

Glutamate activates our taste receptors, eliciting the delicious savory taste known as umami.

Although sodium glutamate is the main component of ordinary monosodium glutamate, it is not simply umami but sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and umami, the proportion of umami being larger than others (the proportions of the five different flavors are fresh 71.41%, salty 13.5%, sour 3.4%, sweet 9.8% and bitter 1.7%). 

At the same time, the fresh taste of sodium glutamate can only be presented in the presence of salt and has a specific inhibition effect on the sour and bitter taste, that is, it has a certain degree of taste buffer effect. Watch this video to know more details.


It can stimulate taste buds and increase the freshness of food, especially meat and vegetables. It is often added to soup and meat products.


How is MSG made?

MSG(monosodium glutamate) is made of naturally occurring substances through a modern version of that process, with the help of microbes that transform feedstocks like sugarcane into food products.

First the sugarcane is extracted as glucose and sent to a fermentation tank, to which fermentative microbes are then added. These microbes consume the glucose, releasing glutamic acid, which though neutralization is turned into a solution that contains MSG.

This solution is then decolorized and filtered, resulting in a pure MSG solution.  This pure solution is crystallized using an evaporator and the crystals dried to produce the final product—MSG.

The entire process has a very small environmental footprint, as its coproducts can be returned to the soil in the form of fertilizer to help grow more crops like sugarcane, forming a virtuous cycle.

Is monosodium glutamate bad for you

Non-toxic, reasonable use, appropriate amount, monosodium glutamate benefits (appetite, treatment of some neurological diseases, maintain brain function.

FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.


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