By Sola Jacobs
Food seasoning business in Nigeria is expansive, ever growing and Ajinomoto has been able to contribute its own quota, hence making meal time a memorable one to everyone.
Ajinomoto enhances palatability of meal, it is made from sugar cane and it is called Umami.
It is a food seasoning that emanates from Japanese culture and it had even become a name in English dictionary.
Ajinomoto was established in 1909 but in Nigeria it started in 1991 and has since become household name.
Its establishments are in over 32 states of the federation and in more than 130 countries and regions of the world.
Ajinomoto Umami seasoning is made from sugar and it went through a fermentation process like Iru, Ogiri and Dadawa, the Nigeria local condiments and it is suitable and generally considered as safe for human consumption.
Ajinomoto has undergone scientific research and has been considered safe, approved by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) both formed the committee on Food Addictives (JECFA) to evaluate safety of food and they classified (MSG) in the safest category after three safety evaluation in 1970, 1973 and 1987.
In 1991, the European commission Scientific Committee of Food also affirmed MSG safety.
In Nigeria, the NAFDAC and standard Organisation of Nigeria also confirmed it safe, for consumption without any side effects.
About Ajinomoto in Nigeria
According to the corporate communication officer of the company in Nigeria during her visit to Osun Defender, Mrs Francesca Ikediashi, the West African Seasoning Company Limited is an affiliate of the AJINOMOTO GROUP (A company that first produced Monosodium Glutamate for commercial marketing and consumption since 1909 and began sales/marketing operations in Nigeria in 1991.
“It was founded on the aspiration of contributing to the world’s food and wellness and to better lives for the future. Since 1909, the Ajinomoto Group has continued the world of contributing to healthy lifestyles worldwide by providing products that make food more delicious and nutritious through a wide range of business portfolio focused on food and amino science, saying, in the process, it has also of course created economic value.
“The company is totally committed to providing quality Ajinomoto and Ma Dish powder seasoning and other products and services that meet the requirement and satisfaction of our numerous customers.
“Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, it is a flavour enhancer which has been used effectively for over a century to bring out the best flavours in food.
“Historically, it was discovered in 1908 by a Japanese professor named Kikunae Ikeda. He was able to extract glutamate from the Japanese traditional broth which was made from sea weed and determined that glutamate provided the savoury taste to the soup.
“Professor Ikeda then filed a patent to produce MSG and commercial production stated following year.
“Today, instead of extracting and crystallizing MSG from seaweed broth, it is produced by the fermentation of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane or molasses. This fermentation process is similar to how Iru and Dadawa are fermented from locust beans and Ogiri is fermented from cast/melon seed.
“In it, we eat, we ingest the necessary nutrients from our food to make our body system function. Glutamate is the most abundant amino acids in nature.
The human body contains about 1.4kgs of glutamate found in muscles, brains kidneys other organs and tissues.
It is also abundant in human breast milk, it amounts to 27mg/100ml and this is usually our first encounter with taste.