What is Ajinomoto?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What is Ajinomoto?”. We will further elaborate on what Ajinomoto is made up of, the culinary uses of Ajinomoto and the good and bad effects of Ajinomoto. 

What is Ajinomoto?

Ajinomoto, aka monosodium glutamate, is a blend made up of glutamic acid and sodium. It is a famous seasoning and flavor enhancer and is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine, that is composed of plant-based ingredients, including sugar beets, sugar cane, corn, and sodium. 

What are the uses of Ajinomoto? 

Ajinomoto is prevalently used to enrich and intensify umami flavors in noodles, stews, fried rice, sauces and broths, among other dishes. 

Many people regard it as a good substitute for salt since it has 1/3 the portion of sodium as common salt. Furthermore, it introduces a tasty flavor in foods.

How safe is Ajinomoto? 

The safety of monosodium glutamate, the main component of Ajinomoto, has been verified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Chemical Society. However, the key is to consume in moderate amounts. 

The right quantity of Ajinomoto you should use is one pinch. 

Is Ajinomoto harmful?

Ajinomoto, itself is not harmful to the body, what you have to be cautious about is the quantity you consume. 

What are the harmful effects of Ajinomoto?

Ajinomoto can pose many harmful effects because of its addictive nature. Below are some of the potential Ajinomoto harmful effects that you should have an idea about prior to adding Ajinomoto in any recipe. 

It may cause brain toxicity 

The repeated use of Ajinomoto has been associated with intense weakening of the nervous system. It has been found that excessive consumption of Ajinomoto can cause brain toxicity. 

This is because Ajinomoto works as a neurotransmitter- it causes glutamate levels to increase in the brain to activate nerve cells for transmitting signals, leading to cell death.

It may be a cause of a headache

While there is not enough research, many people think that Ajinomoto can be a reason for headaches, leading to migraine. That is because Ajinomoto comprises an enormous quantity of sodium.

It may cause you to overeat

By making a dish more flavourful, Ajinomoto influences the signaling mechanism of the hormone leptin in the brain. This hormone works to tell you that you have consumed enough. That is why it may push you to eat more calories, causing you to overeat.

It may make you snore

The monosodium glutamate concentration of Ajinomoto can result in breathing problems. Because of this, a person can end up with excessive snoring during sleep.

It may be problematic for people with gastrointestinal problems

Too much consumption of Ajinomoto has been found to cause a burning feeling in the stomach of a few people. 

It can occur due to an unusual condition known as the Monosodium Glutamate symptom complex which is characterized by a group of symptoms experienced by some individuals after the consumption of Ajinomoto-infused dishes.

Therefore, it can be problematic for those who have acid reflux or acidity, as it can cause more harm.

It may cause fluctuations in blood pressure

The high sodium content of Ajinomoto can cause fluctuations in the levels of blood pressure. However, that can only occur when an individual ingests it in excess amounts.

It may result in fatigue

Too much consumption of Ajinomoto can also dehydrate the body leading to fatigue.

It may cause pain in the chest and body 

Excessive consumption of Ajinomoto may also cause pain in the chest and body due to acid reflux.

Ajinomoto in Pregnancy

Ajinomoto is not recommended to be consumed by pregnant women as it can harm the fetus’ health. Too much consumption of Ajinomoto can even result in the breakdown of the placental barrier, which can disrupt the baby’s food supply, making the baby exposed to the potential pathogens residing in the stomach. 

Some side effects of Ajinomoto in pregnant women include nausea and/or vomiting, headaches, insomnia, and obesity.

Other harmful effects of Ajinomoto are described below:

  • Too much consumption of Ajinomoto may also lead to sweating problems.
  • Excessive amounts of sodium in the body can also result in joint and muscle aches. In fact, it decreases calcium content thus reducing bone strength.
  • Furthermore, regular intake of Ajinomoto raises the quantity of insulin in the body. In fact, it can badly impair the overall health as well.
  • Excess amounts of Ajinomoto may also enhance the risks of cancer, thyroid, and obesity.

However, many of these harmful effects occasionally occur with amounts of 3 g or more of Ajinomoto. 

Conclusion  

In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What is Ajinomoto?”. We have further elaborated on what Ajinomoto is made up of, the culinary uses of Ajinomoto and the good and bad effects of Ajinomoto. 

References 

https://bebodywise.com/blog/ajinomoto-side-effects/
https://www.ajinomoto.com/msg/what-is-aji-no-moto-and-how-is-it-made

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.