Contrary to rumours about Aji-no-moto, food professionals in the country have validated the safety of the Japanese Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) food seasoning, describing it as safe for human consumption.
This was disclosed the 43rd Conference and Annual General Meeting AGM of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), held at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State, with the theme, “Traditional Food Processing: Prospects and Challenges.”
Citing various globally recognised research findings on safety of MSG, food experts says evidences from those studies have consistently confirmed the safety of the umami food seasoning which has been in existence for over a century.
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Helen Henry-Unaeze, Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Applied Food Sciences and Tourism, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike tasks consumers to always work with fact and evidence and to dispel misguided information and misconception about Aji-no-moto, stating that even the US Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) classifies MSG as generally recognised as safe (GRAS).
Pointing out that the nation’s food regulator, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had also approved the safety of the product which is produced in the country by the West African Seasoning Company Limited (WASCO).
In her presentation titled, “MSG: A Safe Food Enhancer,” Henry-Unaeze said there is no food that is tasty without a glutamate.
“AJI-NO-MOTO enhances the taste of food. It brings out the flavor of a wide variety of savory foods and makes them palatable. MSG can also be used to reduce the amount of sodium in foods-it contains 1/3 per cent less sodium than table salt.”
She said that due to growing consumer concern, a lot of studies have been carried out on the safety of MSG which confirmed it to be safe for human consumption and not associated with any known health condition.
Speaking during the plenary session, some of the participants in their separate submissions further confirmed the safety of Aji-no-moto food seasoning.
In his submission, Chairman of the plenary session and Professor of Food Science and Technology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Greg Onwuka said, “WASCO has taken time to educate the public on the safety of its product. It is a safe food enhancer. Irrespective of false reports on social media, MSG is safe.”
Also, on his part, Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Iro Nkama acknowledged the safety of Aji-no-moto. He however advised producers to do more by way sensitising market women and food vendors on its usage.
The Corporate Communication Officer, WASCO’s Mrs. Francisca Ikediashi, in her remarks, commended the participants for their inputs, adding that the conference provided the company a veritable platform to further dispel rumours about Aji-no-moto while urging them to always use their wealth of experience on food safety to educate the public on the safety of MSG, assuring that AJI-NO-MOTO is 100 percent safe for human consumption.