Recently, there have been loud whispers about the presence of MSG and Lead in the famous Maggi Noodles, a Nestle product. Many individual labs tested the 2-minute noodle and found it to be carrying MSG and lead in high levels. People seem pretty upset about its presence, but the big question is, what exactly is MSG?
Assocham India has issued an advertisement in a national daily, Times of India, speaking about the Truth about MSG.
1. What does MSG stand for?
Mono Sodium Glutamate
2. What is Glutamate?
Glutamate is a naturally occurring substance in common foods such as milk, vegetables including tomato, corn, onion, green peas, cabbage, spinach, potato, mushroom, wheat flour, cheese and even mother’s milk.
3. What is MSG?
- A flavour enhancer and one of the many forms of glutamate.
- Mono sodium glutamate is a permitted additive under India law in many foods.
- Even if MSG has not been added, a product may show a presence of glutamate due to its natural occurrence in ingredients used in the product. The presence of glutamate in food products is usually interpreted as MSG.
- MSG is also generally recognised as safe by International bodies such as WHO, UNFAO and USFDA.
4. What do regulations say?
- If MSG is added to products, manufacturers must declare the same in labels.
- Manufacturers who do not add MSG to their products used to state “No Added MSG” in their labels, as per industry practice. However, given a recent FSSAI opinion, the industry is taking action to remove this phrase also from the new packagings, and consumers are being notified accordingly.