MSG is a substance that has been used in the food industry for decades. It can be found as an ingredient in many processed and packaged foods at grocery stores or supermarkets worldwide. It’s commonly found in Chinese food and other Asian dishes.
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate – it is a naturally occurring amino acid used in the food industry to enhance flavor without adding calories or fat. Commonly referred to as “msg,” it can be added to foods or occur naturally in some foods like seaweed and tomatoes. This article will discuss what msg tastes like, whether msg is bad for you, and how fast food restaurants use msg in their food.
What Does MSG Taste Like?
Chefs worldwide have used MSG since the 1900s when it was discovered that adding small amounts can enhance flavors without calories or fat.
MSG tastes salty on its own – but when mixed with other ingredients, it enhances their flavors by enhancing umami, which is an earthy taste often associated with Asian dishes.
Is MSG Bad for You?
There are many rumors that msg is bad for you – but the truth of the matter is that there have been no studies to show any health risks. In fact, msg could be good for your health because it has glutamic acid in it, which can help with brain development and metabolism, among other things. The FDA maintains its position on this issue by stating that MSG is “generally recognized as safe.”
Just like most foods, MSG is bad for you in large quantities; it can reportedly cause headaches, nausea, and even stroke-like symptoms when consumed excessively.
Is MSG Worse Than Salt?
The answer to this question is largely subjective – but the consensus is that salt has been around for much longer than msg, and as such, it’s a more prevalent ingredient in food.
On the other hand, salt is typically used sparingly as an ingredient because too much sodium can be bad for your health over time – especially if you suffer from high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
MSG is not a naturally occurring substance like salt, so its flavor can be more intense and overpowering. MSG also can cause a higher level of sodium amongst those who are sensitive to it.
Some people feel they’re eating better when they avoid high quantities of msg or other processed ingredients because they crave something natural instead. And while some may argue that msg isn’t any worse than sugar which also contains empty calories, others might say that since msg has glutamic acid (which can help brain development), then there are some benefits. Of course, those who prefer to eat healthier might agree that msg is worse than salt because it’s a processed ingredient with no nutritional value.
What Fast Food Places Use MSG?
MSG is a popular ingredient in fast food restaurants because it adds flavor, extends shelf life, and keeps food crispy.
It’s often found in processed meals like frozen pizzas and canned soups, but it can also be found in less obvious places like pre-packaged chop suey or teriyaki beef jerky. The best way to know if a restaurant uses msg is by reading their food labels since MSG hides behind many different names.
Some popular fast-food chains that use msg are Wendy’s, KFC, and McDonald’s – some items in their menus like chicken nuggets have MSG added to them.
Wendy’s has been using msg since they first opened in 1969; it is used as a natural flavoring in their chicken nuggets and added to the dressing on their salads.
KFC is another restaurant that uses msg as a natural flavoring – it’s used in some of its fried foods like popcorn shrimp, french fries, biscuits, and gravy.
Some Popular Restaurants That Use MSG
– KFC: MSG is commonly found in their chicken and coleslaw.
– McDonald’s: The fast-food restaurant uses msg as a flavor enhancer for its French fries, hash browns, and buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.
– Wendy’s: This is another popular chain that relies on msg to enhance the flavor of their fries.
– Chick-fil-A: MSG is used in the chicken at this restaurant chain, which also offers grilled nuggets and coleslaw with msg as an ingredient.
– Burger King: The use of msg by this fast-food chain can be found in its Hamburgers, french fries, onion rings, coleslaw, and chicken sandwiches.
– Sonic: MSG is found in the French fries at this restaurant chain which also offers coleslaws with msg.
– Taco Bell: This popular Mexican fast-food restaurant uses msg to enhance their beans, ground beef, tortillas, and sauces like pico de gallo.
– Chipotle: MSG is used in their pinto beans, cheese, and sour cream.
– Domino’s Pizza: This chain restaurant uses msg as a flavor enhancer for its French bread pizzas.
How Can You Tell if Food Has MSG in it?
Some people can taste msg by tasting the food called “mala” or “umami”.
MSG has an umami or savory flavor that can be tasted as well as smelled – it’s this unique flavor that some people may crave instead of sugar because they are looking for something natural and healthy to eat.
The taste of msg can be detected in foods like MSG-laced chicken nuggets or teriyaki beef jerky – the smell may also give away its presence.
In addition, MSG attracts water molecules in the food that it’s added to, so if you use a paper towel to wipe away any liquid from your plate or bowl and then smell the other side of the paper towel – you might be able to detect its presence.
The best way to know if a restaurant uses MSG in its recipes is by reading the menu and looking at all of the ingredients. If you’re not sure what an ingredient might be, then it’s best to ask someone who knows.
Sometimes, msg is hidden behind other names (a popular one being autolyzed yeast extract) – these are the ingredients to look out for:
– Autolyzed Yeast Extract
– Hydrolyzed Protein
– Sodium Caseinate
– Natural Flavors or Flavorings
Does MSG Occur Naturally In Some Foods?
Yes, MSG can occur naturally in some food. Foods like seaweed, mushrooms, and tomatoes all contain it – however, the natural levels of msg are very low, so people usually need to consume a lot of these foods before they feel any side effects from MSG.
The following is an example list that shows where you might find MSG:
– Tomatoes and tomatoes sauces
– Parmesan cheese, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce.
Some other sources of MSG are usually in the form of additives – these ingredients can be found in many different processed foods like frozen pizzas or canned soups:
– Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
– Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract
– Autolyzed Yeast Extract
What does MSG smell like?
Similar to the taste of MSG, it has a smell that is not easily identifiable – it smells like many things at once. MSG can be detected in foods like soup, processed meats, and barbecue sauce by its aroma alone. The unique odor of msg may make you crave more of the food because it’s so enticing for your sense of smell.
The following are some of the smells that MSG can make:
– savory, meaty and salty.
MSG is found in many processed foods because it enhances these flavors – if you have a keen sense of smell, then msg might be detectable by its strong odor alone. It’s this unique flavor enhancer that can make you crave more of the food.
MSG is one of the most controversial ingredients in our food supply. It has been linked to a variety of health conditions, including headaches and asthma attacks. Yet, it’s also an important flavor enhancer that we can’t seem to live without because it brings out flavors as no other ingredient does. What do you think about msg? Are there any good uses for this substance, or should we avoid it at all costs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!