What does MSG stand for?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by marito, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. marito

    marito

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    Hi there evry one. I recently whas reading some chinese recipes and noticed that they use MSG many times, I realy dont know what that means (no description available). Is any one familiar whit MSG for chinese cooking? here's the link
    http://www.china.org.cn/english/MATERIAL/71932.htm
    Thank you!
     
  2. katew

    katew

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    Go to www.google.com and type in monosodium glutamate. I actually don't know much about it yet so I'll spare you my ramblings and just send you there.
     
  3. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

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    What is bad about it you'll have to read a research yourself, as I am not exactly positive I would know what I am talking about. The idea behind the use of MSG is that glutamates make up a taste that asian (Japanese) call umami. Its like sweet, sour, salty, "hot"/spicy, and thenn you have umami. It makes a dish taste more complete is the best way decribe it. It rounds it out. Umami characteristics are found in several common foods... mushrooms (shiitake), fermented products (fish sauce, soy sauce), seaweed, and even in a mothers breast milk. The "umami flavor" can be achieved by using any number of items, without actually using MSG. I have heard of people using MSG at chilli contests hopeing for an extra edge. Some people are said to have reactions (negative) to MSG which I feel might make doing so risky, as usually a chilli cook doesnt want to reveal secrets. Good luck in more research about it.
     
  4. mudbug

    mudbug

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    It is to be described as, in it's most simple description, a "flavor enhancer".



    :)
     
  5. marito

    marito

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    WOW! and Thanks never imagined it whas all of that in a few letters.
     
  6. chefhogan

    chefhogan Banned

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    MSG is a chemical compond that tricks the taste buds and speeds up the pulminory system. It also destroys the taste buds. It does NOT exist in my kitchen except in the form of Soya Sauce.
     
  7. marzoli

    marzoli

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    It's good to know that more people are becoming aware of the problems connected with MSG. I wish more chefs would ban it from their kitchens!
    I have the same problem with aspartame.
    Both MSG and aspartame raise my blood pressure, cause ringing in my ears, cause me to sweat, make my eyes hurt, break me out . . .
    'Nuf said.
     
    chefhogan likes this.
  8. mudbug

    mudbug

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    There is no reason to ban an ingredient entirely.

    MSG is an ingredient. Some people are sensitive to it, some aren't. Some are sensitive to peanuts, some aren't. Some are sensitive to seafood, some aren't.

    "a number of international scientific, medical and regulatory organizations have reviewed the scientific research on MSG safety and have found MSG to be safe. Some of these organizations include:

    *the American Medical Association (AMA)
    *the United Nations' FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
    *the Scientific Committee for Food of the European Communities"

    "Are some people allergic to MSG?
    No. MSG is not an allergen. In 1991, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology concluded that MSG is not a food allergen, and severe reactions are not associated with consumption of the ingredient. It is possible that some people may be sensitive to MSG, just as people are to many other foods.

    If you think you have a food allergy, it's important to get a professional diagnosis from a board-certified allergist (preferably one with a specialty in food allergies). Relying on self-diagnosis could lead to unnecessary food restrictions and, more importantly, cause you to ignore or miss another important health problem."

    There's no cause for a heated debate here. Everything in moderation and balance. If you eat too much of any one thing, of course your body's going to react. Some trainees in the military actually died from drinking too much water!

    Everything has pros and cons. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Some of us love the flavor MSG adds to certain dishes.

    MSG Information

    ;)
     
  9. campchef

    campchef

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    Another reason some restaurants will overuse MSG is to mask cheap, tough cuts of meat. You can use the oldest, toughest hunk of chicken, add enough MSG, and it becomes tender. I have used it sparingly in different applications, and have never had a problem. To ban an ingredient from you kitchen because of lack of information is always a scary way to go. Who knows what flavors you will miss!
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be interested in seeing some sources to support that statement.

    Phil
     
  11. mike

    mike

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    Its used as a flavour enhancer to chinese & oriental foods. It also gives food a shiny gloopy consistency.
    Personally I avoid the stuff as it makes my mouth sore & gives my wife water retention ( no thats not the beer) it really does make her limbs swell, therefore I think its something to avoid but hey a billion Chinese cant be wrong.:eek:
     
  12. nick.shu

    nick.shu

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    ahh dear, there seems to be a few misconceptions floating around.

    1) "The shiny gloopy" stuff that you refer to mike, is not msg. This from an effect in chinese (namely cantonese cooking) cooking attributed to a method called "velveting". It is simply the dredging of meat in corn flour and partially deepfrying in peanut oil. The meat is removed and reserved, vegetables are stirfried and then the meat is returned and finsihed with chicken stock, whatever flavouring and a slurry of cornflour and water.

    2) The tenderising method used in most chinese restaurants is to either, or both soak the meat in water and add an alkaline substance, vis a vis - bicarbonate of soda, to that water. This would explain that in some restaurants, why the food has a slightly fizzy mouth feel.

    3) glutamates exist in a wide variety of foods - why do dried porcini mushrooms have such an intense flavour? - same for sun dried tomatoes - mudbug is on the money with:

    "Glutamate itself is in many living things: It is found naturally in our bodies and in protein-containing foods, such as cheese, milk, meat, peas, and mushrooms."

    it appears that there is considerable pressure from consumers not to use the stuff, which appears to stem from mainly anecdotal evidence.

    Think about it this way, if you add too much salt, you are going to get side effects, so why wouldnt it apply to other substances?.
     
  13. iceman

    iceman

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    WOW. That seems like a rather harsh way to tell someone that you don't agree with what they've said. 

    Your response is also to a 9-year old comment. 
     
  14. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Really? You never work with base at all or any lowfat no fat milk products? Cottage cheese, yogurt, etc in lowfat versions often have milk solids with MSG. Nothing in the entire kitchen with carrageenan, guar gum, and/or locust bean gum? Better check those seasoning blends, Ranch dressing packets, extracts and other flavorings. No hydrolized products at all? Get any fruits or veggies that are waxed?

    No tomatos? No fish sauce? No soy Sauce? No ultra pasteurized cream?

    Hey I'm not suggesting that you start dumping accent on every thing but I'd place a fair wager your using a bit more MSG and glutamate than you might think.

    If MSG is sooooo bad then why are there so darn many Asians that live a long healthy life? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    More importantly if you feel so strongly about it why are you knowingly using it at all?

    Dave