Chapter 2The purpose of this study was to investigate on the adverse effects ofMonosodium Glutamate on mans health and has been sub – divided into5 sections namely Food additives, flavor enhancers, Monosodiumglutamate, Chinese restaurant syndrome and five risk groups.Food additivesAccording to the Food and drug administration of the USA (FDA),(www.fda.gov/food/ingredientsPackagingLabeling/foodAdditivesIngredients/ucm09211.htm#foodadd) a food additive in its broadest sense is any substance added to food. Legally the term has been referred to as “any substancethe intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to resultdirectly or indirectly in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting thecharacteristics of any food.” (FDA)Additives are useful in controlling such things as decomposition anddeterioration, nutritional losses, loss of functional properties and aestheticvalue, but may not be used to disguise poor quality. This is suggested by theworld book encyclopedia F volume 7 page 302 of 1991.Their use is due to subject to regulation in the 1958 Food AdditivesAmendment to the food, drug and cosmetic (FD&C) act (USA) with exceptionsfor prior sanctioned items and generally regarded as safe (GRAS) substances.Encyclopedia Britannica volume 17 of 1768 on page 448 gives nutrients,colorings, flavorings, flavor enhancers and antimicrobial preservatives asexamples of food additives.Flavor enhancersEncyclopedia Britannica volume 17 of 1768 on page 448 states that “flavorscan also be influenced by the addition of a flavor enhancer such asmonosodium glutamate, which intensifies perception of flavor.” Flavorenhancers do not give food a flavor but intensify flavors already in food butthey could themselves be tasteless. Glenn and Susan Toole support in new
understanding biology for advanced level 4th edition part VI page 668 statingthat flavor enhancers modify the taste of food by seeming to make existingflavors more prominent while themselves being tasteless.Monosodium glutamate (MSG)MSG was chemically derived from seaweed in the early 1900s, but ismanufactured commercially by the fermentation of starch, molasses, or sugar.MSG is a GRAS substance (generally regarded as safe) to which a smallpercentage of the public is severely allergic. The nutri-living blog – collectedreports of adverse reaction to MSG expresses that MSG is a processed foodadditive and an extremely dangerous neurotoxin (excitotoxin) that shrivelsand kills brain cells in the hypothalamus and has been linked to numeroussymptoms that can even be fatal.Encyclopedia Americana 2006 volume 19 on page 377 clarifies that MSG is awhite crystalline powder used by the food industry, restaurants, and homecooks to enhance the flavor of meat, fish, fowl, vegetables and soups. MSG isimportant in oriental cookery. Below is the chemical structure of MSG,NaC5H8NO4 according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium _glutamate.+H3NC CH2 OO C H H2C C Na+O- O-Chinese restaurant syndrome
MSG was and is still being used in Chinese restaurants and before its effectswere known the signs and symptoms caused by it were called the Chineserestaurant syndrome. People who visited Chinese restaurants sufferedfrom the effects of MSG used in food preparation by the restaurant chefs toenhance the flavor of food and also have more customers since it isaddictive according to rense.com and the spofamerica.com. “Whileglutamate is beneficial for people with high blood pressure it is causingmore symptoms for people having already low blood pressure!” sayswww.chineserestaurantsyndrome.com/glutamate.php.Risk groupsThere are five risk groups in the society and these are the groups of peoplewhose health can be easily affected and are therefore more vulnerable to MSGthe risk groups areThe elderlyThe lactatingThe youngThe pregnantAsthmatics.