Global Affairs Magazine


  • PublishedDecember 1, 2022

Researchers and food experts have declared that there is no scientific proof to show that consuming Ajinomoto Umami food seasoning is associated with health issues.

The scientists who urged consumers to disregard unfounded rumours around the Japanese product also stated that the product was safe for consumption and has a lot of health benefits, particularly to the brain and reduction of salt intake in food preparation.

They said the adulteration and lots of fake and cheap products in the market were actually the problems the seasoning is facing and not safety issues.

Speaking during the 2022 Umami Seminar with the theme, ‘Unlocking the Secret of the Fifth Taste”, organised by Ajinomoto Foods Nigeria Limited, the Keynote Speaker and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Dutse (FUD) in Jigawa State, Prof. Abdulkarim Mohammad, said in this era that hypertension is on the increase, the use of  Aji-no-moto helps to reduce salt in food as it is pure monosodium glutamate without other impurities.

Abdulkarim said the undeserved reputation of the product comes from a lack of awareness among the people.

According to him, the product is made from sugarcane through the fermentation process, stressing that more than 100 countries of the world use the product.

He said: “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.  Basically, like I would say here and I would mention it everywhere I go, this product is quite safe. It has been certified and generally recognized as a safe product.

“When we talk about the benefits, we talk about salt reduction with this product. With Aji-no-moto, you can reduce your salt consumption by up to 40 per cent and you will feel the same great delicious taste.

“That means you are not compromising the taste that you have, which is also very good.”

He said added that MSG is good for the brain and was used for a lot of electrical activities in the body.

“MSG is used for a lot of electrical activities in your body. It is good for the brain. What we don’t want in food actually is anything that accumulates in our bodies. Salt does accumulate in your bloodstream which 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 said.

Earlier in his welcome address, Managing Director of Ajinomoto Foods Nigeria Limited, 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.

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Ogushi said the purpose of the seminar was to give the right information about Aji-no-moto food seasoning.  “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 also provided more safety facts about the product, saying the brand is the first MSG seasoning produced since 1909.  “ 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 NAFDAC/Nigeria”, he said.

The event had in attendance representatives of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State Chapter; Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology; Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter; Pharmacy Council of Nigeria,  Nurses & Midwives Association,  Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency.

Others are representatives of the Home Economics Teachers’ Association of Nigeria; Lagos State Caterers & Decorators Association, and Home Science Association among other professional bodies.

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