Chinese salt is the ingredient of almost every Chinese dish. It is also present in many fast food items to enhance the flavor of the food. The other name of this salt is Ajinomoto and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).
Chinese salt or mоnоѕоdіum glutamate (MSG) is the ѕоdіum ѕаlt of amino acid Glutamic acid, present in the form of white crystals. It intensifies the flavor of food and is extensively present in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
What is in Chinese salt?
Chinese salt was produced in 1908 by a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikеdа. He was trying to prepare a duplicate taste of edible seaweed that was the main ingredient in many Japanese soups. As the result of this discovery, the commercial production of monosodium glutamate started by using seaweed. Later, the production of the salt took place by bacterial fermentation of starch and ammonium salt.
MSG is usually present in stocks, broths, meats, and canned vegetables as an essential component. It also increases the flavor of tobacco.
The taste of Chinese salt is known as umami which is entirely different from the typical basic taste like sour, sweet, or salty. MSG is naturally present in tomatoes in large quantities.
When used in cooking, the umami tаѕtе of ajino moto intensifies the savory flavor of fооd.
Why Chinese salt is not good for health?
No doubt Ajino moto is a famous ingredient that is part of Chinese and Japanese dishes. The use of Chinese salt is increasing fast, but unfortunately, this flavor enhancer has no significant health benefits. However, there are many harmful side effects of this salt that make it unhealthy and unfit for human use. A number of frozen and canned foods come with this substance. So, people who consume ready-to-eat food a lot suffer from the damaging effects of this salt.
Let’s explore why Chinese salt is not good for health.
- Affects brain
MSG contains Glutamate that serves our brain in the form of neurotransmitters. So, too much consumption of Chinese salt increases Glutamate that may affect our brain adversely.
- Causes headache
The most common harmful effect of Chinese salt is that it causes headaches. Too much consumption of this salt may lead to migraines, which can cause some serious health issues.
- May lead to cancer
Many researchers suggest that Chinese salt or Ajinomoto can cause cancer in human beings. It contains the components that contribute to triggering the production of cancer-causing substances in the human body.
- Leads to hypertension
A higher amount of this salt may result in a high blood pressure.
Chinese salt can also affect our body in the following ways:
- It causes too much sweating.
- Chinese salt consumption may cause laziness, vision disturbance, and cold.
- It also affects the stomach, leading to heartburn and indigestion
- Joint and muscle pain is also a side effect of this salt as it badly affects the bones.
- MGS may contribute to arrhythmia, asthma, and weight gain
Some researchers also claim that the regular consumption of monosodium glutamate can also cause autism, food allergies, reduced bile formation, epilepsy, female hormonal balance, and infertility.
MSG symptom complex
MSG symptom complex is a cluster of reactions that Chinese salt causes after its consumption. In some people, increased use of MSG or Chinese salt causes the symptoms like
- Pain in chest
- Breathing difficulties
- Numbness in mouth
- An increased heart rate
- Swelling on the face or in the throat
- Pain in chest
- Facial flushing
Many researchers associate all these symptoms with MSG. In one study, people who consumed 5g of Chinese salt reported many of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Pink Himalayan salt vs. Chinese salt
Himalayan salt is a pink-colored, pure, and natural mineral that comes from the salt mines in Pakistan by the technique of hand extraction. It is the most popular kind of salt that gives numerous health benefits.
When we compare Himalayan salt with ajino moto, we find several nutritional and compositional differences between them.
As mentioned above, pink Himalayan salt is a natural, hand-mined salt. It means that this salt does not contain any artificial chemical, flavor, or nutrient. On the other hand, Chinese salt comes through the industrial manufacturing process, and it has an artificial flavor.
Pink Himalayan salt has 84 elements and minerals that make it a healthy food ingredient. It provides a lot of health benefits that include:
- Blood purification
- Better digestion
- Good heart health
- Providing essential vitamins and nutrients
- A healthy skin and shiny hair
- Weight loss and more
But, when we talk about Chinese salt, it is just a flavor-enhancing substance that does not contain any significant mineral or nutrient. Thus it fails to contribute to good human health.
MSG is harmful and results in many side effects. The taste of Himalayan salt is natural, and it is the best substitute for artificial, chemical-based monosodium glutamate. It enhances the flavor of Chinese soups, stocks, and other dishes. Pink rock salt is also a great food preserving mineral that keeps frozen meat, pickles, and, some other canned foods safe without affecting their taste and nutrients.
Why Chinese salt is banned in Pakistan?
Chinese salt is the sodium salt of glutamic acid that is harmful to human health and leads to many side effects. So, the buying and selling of this salt in Pakistan were banned by the supreme in 2018. Since ajino moto is banned in Pakistan, it cannot be used as an ingredient in eateries, canned food, frozen foods, and other food products.