What Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Experts said: “Snack lovers must know that MSG is safe to consume”

Publish with Author Ajinomoto at 07 December 2021

The Indonesian Monosodium Glutamate and Glutamic Acid Factory Association (P2MI) consisting of Ajinomoto, Miwon, and Sasa held a Webinar with the theme of 2022 Food Trends with MNG-monosodium glutamate (Making a New Authentic Taste Menu for Millennials and Families) which was held online, on Thursday, December 2, 2021, via the ZOOM Digital Meeting Platform.

This event is intended to find out more about the 2022 food trends, which are suitable for the millennial generation and families. Can't deny that the pandemic period has proven to change people's food consumption patterns, which in the end presents an appetizing creation through ingredient innovation.

It is widely heard in the community that the use of MSG in food can harm a person's health, but the statement by food experts said that MSG is safe for daily consumption.

“Is MSG safe or not? In fact, from a research perspective, it has been studied for a long time. Since 1988, through regulation no. 23 MSG has been declared safe as a flavor enhancer, with moderate and not excessive use.” said Food Expert of the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Prof. Purwiyanto Hariyadi, PhD at the 2022 Food Trends webinar with MNG, Thursday (2/12/21).

The Regulation of the Minister of Health-Permenkes in 1988 has been increased to Permenkes No. 33 of 2012 concerning Supplementary Materials with the same content, which states that MSG is safe for consumption as an ingredient for enhancing the Umami taste.

Unsurprisingly, with the use of MSG during a pandemic like today, many people make their own food at home or for entrepreneurship. That's because MSG can give the delicious taste of Umami pleasure.

"Taste or enjoyment in food is important to build a sense of happiness or pleasure and also a mood booster when consuming something. This is also important for mental health,” said Prof. Pur.

Prof. Purwiyatno Hariyadi PhD stated that food intake is certainly important for today's society, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also inseparable from the habits of the millennial generation who have a hobby and try to consume a variety of new foods.

According to him, innovations related to food intake are needed, including those that guarantee safety, maximize what is desired, and provide what is not desired.

Because basically, the value of food is seen from the extent to which the safety of the food is safe for those of us who consume it both physically and spiritually. Therefore it is necessary to innovate for Flavor Texture, Sensory, Taste, Appearance, Locality, Nutrition, Home Cooking, Environment or not desired. As well as what is unwanted, including functionality, preparation time, and price specifications," said Prof. Purwiyatno Hariyadi.

He also explained the purpose of using food ingredients (raw materials, additives, nutrients, functional ingredients) used for food production in various kinds. One of them is the basic flavor-building spices, namely Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, and Umami.

"One of them is MSG (MNG) and other Umami spices/ingredients that are able to provide taste and also provide intake to people who eat them. Through valid research, sodium/Sodium intake from table salt can be reduced by about 30% with the addition of a little MSG, which does not affect the level of liking at all," he explained.

More, Prof. Purwiyatno Hariyadi emphasized that good and sufficient nutrition is important for health. This can be met through adequate intake plus the taste of the food itself. "Especially at a time when the immune system is needed to fight COVID-19," he said.

In the midst of the same discussion, Head of Communications Division of P2MI, Satria Gentur Pinandita, explained that his association is to provide true and factual information about MSG and its derivatives to the public and related agencies.

"Until now, news or articles related to MSG that have a negative tone still often appear. Response letters have been decreasing from year to year. As of 2021, their effectiveness is only 6%. Good performance in 2018, because new association names appeared and the media revealed many. Therefore, P2MI will be more proactive in disseminating information through the asset itself. We will often socialize and educate," he explained.

Furthermore, Satria Gentur Pinandita said that there are still many false news related to MNG, all of which are HOAX. For example, he added, the mushroom broths currently circulating are, in fact, just a manipulation of materials and campaigns.

"The fact is that the seasoning uses MNG/MSG in its composition, even being the 2nd largest ingredient after salt. In addition, the seasoning with this claim is many times more expensive where 400g of seasoning costs Rp 46,900 and the price for 120g MNG/MSG is only Rp 4,800," said Satria Gentur Pinandita.

He explained, MNG is a nutrient that is safe for consumption. "In this case, mothers who like to cook using salt can now replace the use of excess salt by substituting using MNG. For example, usually one teaspoon of salt, we can substitute half of it with MNG. Now this helps us to reduce consumption of sufficient salt significant," said Satria Gentur Pinandita.

MSG is part of food to create a balanced nutritional diet. However, the use of MSG must also be accompanied by eating a variety of foods so that the existing intake can complement each other.

"Food has different nutritional compositions and complements each other for daily needs," said Dr. Hera Nurlita, Sub Coordination of Nutrition Quality Substance, Directorate of Community Nutrition, Ministry of Health.

According to the Hotel's Corporate Executive Chef, Freddy Demianus, the use of MSG among millennials will become a trend in 2022. This is because there are many millennials who are interested in salty and savory / Umami-flavored foods or contain MSG.

"His name is Indonesian, even though he's healthy food, he'll get bored too. People who previously didn't like using MSG, they miss using MSG again. Moreover, the average traditional Indonesian food uses MSG as a unique flavor ingredient," he said.

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