By Doris Obinna
Food experts and researchers have said that there is no scientific proof to show that consuming AJI-NO-MOTO Umami food seasoning is associated with any health issues, rather it helps to reduce salt in food urging consumers to disregard unfounded rumour.
The experts reiterated that AJI-NO-MOTO is safe for consumption and that it has lots of health benefits because of the reduction of salt intake when using the seasoning in food preparation.
According to them, adulteration and lots of fake and cheap products in the markets are actually the problem the seasoning is facing and not safety issues.
The experts spoke at the 2022 Umami Seminar in Lagos, with the theme, “Unlocking the Secret of the Fifth Taste,” organised by Ajinomoto Foods.
In his presentation, the keynote speaker and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Dutse (FUD) in Jigawa State, Prof. Abdulkarim Mohammad, stated that there are things that consumers really need to know about AJI-NO-MOTO food seasoning. He said in this era that hypertension is on the increase, AJI-NO-MOTO helps to reduce salt in food because it’s pure monosodium glutamate without other impurities.
He said the undeserved reputation about the product comes from lack of awareness among the people.
The food expert explained, “What I can say from my side as a researcher is that this product has been extensively researched not only in Nigeria but in Asia and also in Europe because of the controversies.
“What the researchers found is that there is nothing to associate this particular product with any of the ill health that is being said to have been caused like hypertension and heart diseases. Scientifically, when you mention amino acids, they are essential for our body and this product is only that.
“What we don’t want in food actually is anything that accumulates in your body. Salt does accumulate in your bloodstream that is why we have high blood pressure, etc. MSG is strictly used in the body; it doesn’t accumulate in the body. So, it is used up and it doesn’t accumulate like salt and so you don’t have any adverse effect or long term effect consuming this product.”
Mohammad further said umami and MSG were discovered by a Japanese scientist.
“We are familiar with umami from birth as breast milk also contains a lot of glutamate. Safety of MSG is guaranteed by many global authorities.”
Managing Director, Ajinomoto Foods, Mr. Noriyuki Ogushi, said umami is the taste of the amino acid glutamate – one of the most prevalent amino acids in nature and naturally present in foods like tomatoes, seafood, vegetables, cheese, and milk.
“Actually, we still have less understanding of the product by the people. We looked at the safety and benefit of AJI-NO-MOTO®.
“Nigerians should know that this product is very safe and it enhances their dishes and reduces their salt intake. The product is very affordable,” he said.
Head of Marketing at Ajinomoto, Mr. Isa Hassan Shallangwa, said: “The safety of umami seasoning has been approved by authorities all over the world such as in the USA, EU, Australia, Japan, and also by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)/Nigeria.”