In the modern concentrated world, the frequent interaction of humans has brought many changes. The globalisation induced changes have made the world a global village. People’s frequent physical as well as digital interaction has made a significant impact on overall lifestyle. Learning from others, people are changing their clothing, speaking and food habits. This impact has also been felt in Indian society. Influenced by the soft power of developed countries, Indian people learn to live like them and in this scenario, face unfavorable results. One of many such results is reflected in food habits.
Ajinomoto dangerous for health
A recently published research paper in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry suggests that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Ajinomoto’s daily intake at a high dosage (2000-4000 mg/kg body weight) is extremely toxic to humans as well as experimented animals.
The report stated that taste enhancer Ajinomoto, which is frequently used in Chinese dishes, is prone to trigger medical complications like hypertension, cardiac issues, increasing rate of aging and others.
Scientists of Allahabad University, Rashmi Kesherwani, Sukanya Bhoumik, Raushan Kumar and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi, studying the toxicity of Ajinomoto (MSG) claimed that not only high intake but steadily taking in low quantity can be proven to be detrimental to health.
Leading scientist Syed Ibrahim Rizvi claimed that even prescribed concentrations of MSG could cause inflammation, oxidative stress and other health problems. Which ignites other heart related diseases.
Explaining the experiment, Professor Rizvi said that incessant consumption of a fixed dose of MSG by rats for three weeks resulted in changes in the brain region of the guinea pigs. This can have a negative impact on overall health.
Chinese Food and Ajinomoto
MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid found naturally in tomatoes and cheese. It is used in Chinese food to enhance the flavor that intensifies the meaty and savory flavor of food. As Chinese food habits are increasing in India, the use of Ajinomoto is parallelly enhanced.
In order to make foods like noodles and pasta, manufacturers deliberately add the MSG or glutamic acid to enhance the flavor of such products. On the complaint of deliberate use of MSG in such products by manufacturers, the Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) stated in 2016 that the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 allows the use of MSG in specific food.
MSG use is subject to good manufacturing practices and proper labeling declarations as required under the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011.
Further clarifying the issue stated that there is no specific post-production testing methodology to determine whether MSG was added during the production process or if it naturally occurs in the product. Hence, the food safety commissioners cannot take action against manufacturers of noodles or pasta based on the presence of MSG or glutamic acid, unless there is confirmation that MSG flavor enhancer was deliberately added during the manufacturing process and not declared on the label.
It is also important that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has banned the sale, import and export of Chinese salt (MSG) all over the country, declaring it hazardous to health. On the other U.S. Food and Drug Administration consider, it is safe and European Union permits certain food with quantitative limits.
As the research is revealing, the government and food safety authorities must take cognizance of the matter. The increasing Chinese food habits in Indian society have brought these chemicals, which poses threat to the health of both humans as well as animals. India is home to one of the highest numbers of cardiovascular disease patients. The frequent use of Ajinomoto will exponentially increase the burden of such patients. Thus, it is important that the government take appropriate steps to curb the menace of Chinese Salt.
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