Categories:Herbs, Spices and Seasoning Hints & Tips
Accent Seasoning – Spike Seasoning:
Accent Seasoning – A seasoning also called MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). It is commonly used in Oriental cooking. It is not a favored seasoning or enhancer in the United States as many people are allergic to it. It is an optional seasoning and can very easily be left out of recipes.
MSG is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid and a form of glutamate. It is sold as a fine white crystal substance, similar in appearance to salt or sugar. It does not have a distinct taste of its own, and how it adds flavor to other foods is not fully understood. Many scientists believe that MSG stimulates glutamate receptors in the tongue to augment meat-like flavors.
Additional information on MSG from FDA and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) by U. S. Food and Drug Administration:
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancer in a variety of foods prepared at home, in restaurants, and by food processors. It’s use has become controversial in the past 30 years because of reports of adverse reactions in people who’ve eaten foods that contain MSG. Research on the role of glutamate–a group of chemicals that includes MSG–in the nervous system also has raised questions about the chemical’s safety.
Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well. Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain. Consumption of glutamate in food, however, does not cause this effect. While people normally consume dietary glutamate in large amounts and the body can make and metabolize glutamate efficiently, the results of animal studies conducted in the 1980s raised a significant question: Can MSG and possibly some other glutamates harm the nervous system?
Reader comments on Accent Seasoning:
Your MSG information seems out of date. Please at least consider removing the injection study information. Injected MSG is not relevant to ingested MSG, as is the case in cooking. – Sincerely, Daniel Dewey (10/17/14)
On your site under accent you have the following – I want to point out that this is not entirely accurate. – (6/11/11)
ACCENT is used in the United states quite extensively as a flavor enhancer. People are not allergic to MSG as you indicate. There have been double blind placebo tests done and none of the subjects that said they are allergic showed any allergic reaction to MSG. We would be happy to provide details of the study for your review which was done at Scripts in San Diego, CA. This is a myth that is being spread on the internet and we would appreciate you changing your web information. Glutamate is the most abundant amino acid in all proteins on earth and is found naturally in a lot of foods we eat such as cheese, beef, poultry, mushrooms, tomato, etc.
Glutamate contributed by MSG seasoning is just a small percentage of the glutamate consumed every day as part of a normal, healthy diet. This is the case even in countries where MSG is used widely to season home-made food. Monosodium glutamate is the salt of an amino acid – one of the most abundant amino acids in our diet. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins, whether in our bodies or in our food. Glutamate is found in food either ‘bound’ into protein or as ‘free’ glutamate. ‘Bound’ glutamate becomes ‘free’ as proteins break down – when meat or cheeses are aged, for example, or when food proteins are digested.
The glutamate from MSG seasonings and the glutamate from other foods are treated by our bodies in exactly the same way. Most of the glutamate we consume, whether naturally occurring in food or as seasoning, does not enter the bloodstream – it is used by the cells lining the digestive tract for energy. Our bodies also make glutamate as part of normal metabolism, and our major organs store glutamate. There is about 10g of free glutamate in our bodies, of which 6g is stored in our muscles.
Brendan Naulty, President
Ajinomoto Food Ingredients LLC
8430 West Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL. 60631
773 308 7852
I am a little confused. I always thought that MSG was a type of nutritional yeast, and therefore always feared that Spike had MSG, but was never really sure. You claim that hydrolized vegetable proteinIS MSG. To add to the confusion, I am not personally allergic to MSG, but I do not think it is good for ones health, and some people are very allergic to it, so I would like an informed answer so that when I prepare food for others, I will avoid using Spike if it has MSG. Is it possible that if it does contain MSG, that it is a healthy version of it, or is there any such a thing? Personally, I love Spike Spice mix better than any other, but it will curb my use of it if it contains MSG. Still, I seek to know the truth on the matter. – Anna (1/07/07)
I see what you are saying, and it does sound confusing! Check out the following article on MSG by Truth In Labeling:
Thank you so much for your help. Thank you for sending the link that you found, because it boils the info down to straight facts. I really like how concise and straight forward it is. I will save the information. This is really helpful for those who are rightly concerned about causing any discomfort to those who may be allergic to MSG. It appears that Spike Spice does indeed contain some, so I will be limiting (if not avoiding altogether) the use of Spike. It is a shame, because it is a very flavorful seasoning. But no taste is worth the ill effects that MSG has on those who get an allergic reaction to it. Thanks again for your prompt and informative reply. After writing to you, I did find some information also. You may want to look at it too. It is at:
Truth In Labeling – Expert Opinion: Monosodium Glutamate– The link address indicates that both your information and mine come from the same source. The link I found is more detailed, but also a little more difficult to figure out what they are trying to say. Still, you may find it interesting to read how much effort is made to sneak MSG into food and spices, despite the complaints of extremely painful reactions to it. It is angering actually. It is not fair to those who suffer the consequences, nor is it fair to people who, like me, are not allergic themselves, care to not cause any harm to others with the food they serve.
From the Italian kitchen of late internationally acclaimed gourmet nutritionist, Gaylord Hauser.
Spike’s Seasoning Ingredients contains: Salt and sea salt crystals, special high flavor yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, mellow toasted onion, onion powder, orange powder, soy flour, celery leaf powder, celery root powder, garlic powder, dill, kelp, Indian curry, horseradish, ripe white pepper, orange and lemon peel, summer savory, mustard flower, sweet green and red peppers, parsley flakes, tarragon, rosehips, saffron, mushroom powder, parsley powder, spinach powder, tomato powder, sweet Hungarian paprika, celery powder, cayenne pepper, plus a delightful herbal bouquet of the best Greek oregano, French sweet basil, French marjoram, French rosemary, and Spanish thyme.
Spike’s seasoning claims to contain no MSG but does contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
I could not find a recipe to make it at home. I doubt that anyone would try to make a copycat recipe for anything with so many ingredients. Spike’s comes in either regular or salt free. Made by Modern Products, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53209, U.S.A. Spike’s is a commercial product that is available at most supermarkets (in the spice section) and health food stores.