Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Napurnadang Sinangag, MSG, and Unsolicited Advice

I was looking at liquid seasonings in the supermarket and saw that they all have monosodium glutamate or MSG plus some other flavor enhancer or spices. Despite my having looked forward to buying a bottle to use on my breakfast sinangag, I hesitated, and finished shopping without buying any liquid seasoning. I already get more than my fair share of MSG when I eat out with family and friends.

Thanks to the internet there is now a greater public awareness of possible health risks associated with MSG consumption. Though I won't tackle the details of such health risks now on this post, I do have a little advice for those who figure they should avoid MSG as well.

When avoiding products with MSG, check the label. The law requires that the presence of MSG be indicated on the ingredients panel of the product label, so see if you'll find it there.

If for some reason, MSG is just unavoidable, here's an invaluable tip: The earlier an ingredient is mentioned on the ingredients panel of a product label (specifically on standard English language labels that read left to right), the greater the quantity of that ingredient by weight compared to the ingredients that follow it.

This means if you have four ingredients mentioned, say, water, salt, soy sauce, and monosodium glutamate, shown in that order, then for that product there's more water than salt, there's more salt than soy sauce, there's more soy sauce than monosodium glutamate.

So when looking at two competing products that have similar ingredients, you'll want to pick the product that places MSG as close to the last as possible.

BTW, this confirms my earlier suspicion that Knorr seasoning has MSG. And to think when I was a kid I used to consume bottles of it like it was some kind of beverage.

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