Contrary to recent reports warning against consumption of canned foods, Ajinomoto is not a poisonous or harmful chemical found in tin and sachet tomatoes as sweetener and preservative.
The West African Seasoning Company Limited, makers of Ajinomoto, made this clarification in a rejoinder to dispel “inaccuracies, malicious information and misconception it (a recent negative online report) conveys about our Ajinomoto brand.”
According to the company, the online report is not only malicious and erroneous.
It queried the competence of the leader of the training team from where the report was generated, asking if the purported trainer has the requisite scientific jurisdiction on such a topic.
“Ajinomoto is the first monosodium glutamate seasoning discovered since 1909.
“We do not compromise the quality of our product and wish to emphasize again that our product is very safe, contrary to the malicious report.
“It is highly unprofessional to mention and position a brand in such a bad light because it will be de-marketing the product,” Francisca Ikediashi, corporate communications officer, West African Seasoning Company Ltd, said.
The company’s consultant, Prof Sanni Abiodun of the Microbiology Department of the University of Ibadan, described monosodium glutamate as the water-soluble sodium salt of glutamate, a non-essential and naturally occurring amino acid.
“It is not a sweetener, colourant, or a preservative. Glutamate is one of the most abundant amino acids in nature.
“It is usually synthesised in the human body, becoming components of body tissues and it is present in several protein-rich foods.
“Free glutamate is abundantly present in foods such as milk, meat, fish, chicken, tomato (246 mg/100g), onion (118 mg/100g), human breast milk (19 mg/100g, dawadawa (965 mg/100g0, iru (1,700 mg/100g) etc.
“Cooking of meats and fishes, aging of meat and ripening of tomatoes liberates the naturally occurring glutamate into free form.
“Monosodium glutamate is consumed globally as a food flavour enhancer where it is applied in processed foods such as snacks, convenience foods, soups, condiments, instant noodles and seasoning blends.
“Just in a similar manner as the glutamate that is naturally present in foods, monosodium glutamate, being a natural product is rapidly and completely metabolised in the gut.
“Information about the production, metabolism and self-limiting nature of monosodium glutamate leaves no doubt about its safety as a food additive.
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated it as generally recognised as safe (GRAS) ingredient and FAO/WHO has not specified an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for it. It remains a safe food additive till date,” Abiodun said.