The management of AJINOMOTO Foods Nigeria Limited, an affiliate of a global food giant, Ajinomoto and makers of AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami food seasoning, has embarked on an awareness journey on the importance of consuming foods with less salt as part of activities marking the 2023 Umami Seasoning Day.
The management reassured Nigerians that the safety of AJI-NO-MOTO food seasoning, which promotes low salt intake, healthy living and enhances the flavour of foods, has been validated by food scientists, nutritionists, researchers, and national and global regulatory bodies.
The Umami Seasoning Day is celebrated on July 25th every year to raise awareness about the importance of the umami seasoning popularly known as AJI-NO-MOTO® Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in cooking. The day is also used to sensitise the public about the safety of consuming the AJI-NO-MOTO® seasoning, which gives foods a delectable flavour, brings out their deliciousness and promotes the palatability of dishes and cuisines worldwide.
As part of its long-term strategy, AJINOMOTO has, over the years, developed AminoScience and Enzyme Technologies to create unique flavours for food products without compromising on quality or safety standards set by regulatory bodies worldwide.
Speaking on the day, the Managing Director of AJINOMOTO Foods Nigeria Ltd., Mr Noriyuki Ogushi, said the food giant had developed global products and seasonings using salt-reduction technologies. Ogushi noted that the safety of AJI-NO-MOTO® had long been scientifically proven, and authorised agencies of the United Nations approved its safety.
He explained, “Since its founding, the Ajinomoto Group has consistently engaged in initiatives to resolve social issues through its business. We do this through our philosophy of contributing to the well-being of all human beings, our society and our planet with AminoScience.”
“Umami” translates to “deliciousness”, and the term was named in 1908 by a Japanese scientist, Ikeda Kikunae, to describe the savoury taste produced by glutamate. Umami is the taste of the amino acid glutamate – one of nature's most prevalent amino acids and naturally present in foods like tomatoes, seafood, vegetables, cheese, and Breastmilk. We are actively developing products and seasonings that utilise salt-reduction technologies, and the safety of AJI-NO-MOTO® has long been scientifically proven and approved by authorised agencies of the United Nations." Mr. Ogushi added.
Also backing the safety of the Japanese food seasoning is a Professor of Enzyme and Food Biotechnology, Abdulkarim Sabo Mohammed, who affirmed that various scientific findings have proven that AJI-NO-MOTO® is safe for consumption. Prof. Mohammed, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State, said, "Glutamic acid is a prominent amino acid that contributes to the umami taste. Glutamate is essential for living bodies. It is a good energy source of the brain and helps boost good feeling by regulating impulse transmission in the nerves."
According to him, AJI-NO-MOTO® MSG is a healthy product that has been consumed by billions of people across the globe. The food safety expert reiterated, "There is no scientific proof to directly associate MSG with any health issues as suggested. Research suggests that umami (MSG) in AJINO-MOTO® acts to enhance flavour and promotes a feeling of satiety.
A further Ajinomoto Group initiative is its Smart Salt Project, promoted as a “Japan model” for delicious salt reduction.