What Is Chinese Salt? Uses and harms?
Known for over 100 years, Chinese salt, also known as MSG, mono sodium glutamate, was discovered by scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who researched flavorings in different foods. The scientist obtained the Chinese salt by first subjecting the seaweed to a number of tests and succeeding in crystallizing the seaweed.
This new flavor that first appeared was called Umami. The most important feature of Chinese salt is that it has a unique taste.
MSG, which does not fall into any sweet, salty, sour or bitter taste category, comes to the fore with its appetite-stimulating feature.
Another feature of Chinese salt is that it intensifies the taste of foods to which it is added synthetically.
Mono sodium glutamate, which makes the food saltier if it is salty and sweeter if it is sweet, is especially sought after in the fast food industry.
What Is Chinese Salt?
Glutamic acid , one of the 20 amino acids found in all living organisms and forming the human structure , is a chemical substance that forms the main structure of Chinese salt. High protein foods such as fish, dairy and meat, and some vegetables naturally contain high levels of glutamate. For example, 1 gram of breast milk contains 229 milligrams of protein-bound and 22 milligrams of free-form glutamate.
So, what is Chinese salt MSG? Chinese salt, mono sodium glutamate, is the sodium salt form of glutamic acid. Metabolism of MSG by the organism is the same as that of glutamate. Chinese salt, which has a long history, begins with Ikeda, one of the professors of the University of Tokyo, who discovered that a taste found in cheese, asparagus, tomatoes and meat differs from bitter, sweet and sour.
Ikeda isolated what he calls the fifth taste in kombu seaweed, a traditional flavor of Japanese cuisine. He formed the sodium salt, or MSG, to facilitate the dissolution of the substance he isolated, namely glutamic acid, in water.
Chinese salt is used all over the world as a flavor enhancer food additive. So, how is Chinese salt produced? In today’s world, glutamate is obtained by fermentation of natural food sources such as sugar beets or sugar cane and starch.
What Are the Harms of Chinese Salt?
- Additives are always suspicious substances. Therefore, the question of whether Chinese salt is harmful is one of the first questions that come to mind. When children in the growth and development age consume foods containing high amounts of Chinese salt continuously, growth hormones are suppressed and their development may decline.
- It is thought to slow down the treatment process in nervous system diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy, as it may cause damage to nerve cells. Therefore, those with this disease may be inconvenient to consume it.
- It is known that Chinese salt increases the secretion of insulin hormone from the pancreas. It is recommended not to consume by diabetics and those with pancreatic problems.
- The damaging effect on the retina layer in the eye can be shown as the danger of Chinese salt .
- It is observed that asthma attacks are triggered when asthma patients consume Chinese salt. It is recommended that asthma patients avoid foods containing MSG.
- It can cause kidney diseases because it increases the kidney load. It is also recommended not to consume by those with liver disorders due to its toxic content.
- When pregnant or breastfeeding women use Chinese salt, it may be harmful because it is passed to the baby. It is inconvenient for mothers and expectant mothers to consume Chinese salt.
Considering its harms, the first question that comes to mind is whether Chinese salt is prohibited. All food additives used in the world must be approved by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization in order to be used.
Chinese salt is a food item used by obtaining the necessary permissions from all of these organizations.
Which Foods Have Chinese Salt?
Glutamate is naturally found in foods such as fish, meat, tomatoes, corn, chicken, cheese, mushrooms, peas, carrots, spinach, potatoes and eggs.
So, where is Chinese salt used?
Almost all ready-made food products in the world use Chinese salt.
- Ready-made meatballs
- Package soup
- broth tablets
- salad dressings
- Fruit Yogurt
- Ice cream
- Types of chips
- Solid fats
- Ready Meatballs
- Hamburger and toast breads
- All fast food foods
- Packaged sauces
- Chinese salt is found in all ready-to-eat foods that qualify as junk food.
Recently, Chinese salt has also been used in making raw meatballs. So, how to identify Chinese salt in foodstuffs? It is enough to look at the label to understand whether there is MSG in the food consumed.
If there is MSG and Chinese salt code E 621 in the ingredients, it can be said that there is Chinese salt in the food.
Is Chinese Salt Addictive?
Found in almost all ready-to-eat foods, Chinese salt is a chemical that gives the brain the command ‘delicious’. Chinese salt is not a food with benefits. It can be addictive because it makes foods that do not have any flavor-free properties to be perceived as delicious.
MSG, which is high in fast food foods such as hamburgers and chips, which are consumed fondly by children , makes the taste of these foodstuffs attractive and ensures that they are consumed continuously.
As it is known, foods with this type of Chinese salt contain high levels of fat and carbohydrates . This invites obesity, which is one of the biggest problems of today . In addition, due to its appetizing effect, it increases the desire to eat and makes you gain weight. MSG, which contains one-third of the sodium contained in table salt, can be an alternative solution for patients with salt restriction.
How to Use Chinese Salt
China powder alone does not have any flavor. Combined with a nice aroma and fragrance and used in the right amounts, it balances the taste of food. When too much MSG is used, the flavor of the food will deteriorate.
One of the most frequently asked questions about Chinese salt is where to use Chinese salt . Another question is what does Chinese salt do ? Chinese salt, by adding it into the dishes, increases the unique aroma of the ingredients .
It adds flavor to salad dressings. It increases the consistency of soups and provides extra flavor. It can be easily used in almost all types of dishes, such as vegetable dishes, rice, pasta sauces, legumes.
Chinese salt, which is sold in tablet, liquid or powder form, can be added directly to meals. Chinese salt in powder and tablet form can be diluted and added to meals.