‘MSG doesn’t cause hair loss or cancer’


KUALA LUMPUR: The advice “not to believe everything you read or hear” rang true for 32 members of the Association of Women and Wives of Bernama Employees (Benita) when they visited the Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Berhad headquarters in Jalan Kuchai Lama here today.

During the two-hour visit to the company’s premises, including the Ajinomoto Museum, Benita members were briefed on its history, factory operations, its products and how the products were processed.

The company’s associate specialist Jason Ho, who attended to the group, also answered all the sensitive questions on the much criticiced substance — monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Backed by data from established scientific studies and experts’ quotes, Ho dismissed the negative perceptions towards MSG such as it being the cause of cancer and hair loss.

“MSG is actually glutamate, the most frequently found amino acid in protein-rich food. Neither glutamate nor sodium have any carcinogenic properties.

“With regard to hair loss, the experts have explained that genetic factors, stress and several diseases as the main causes,” he told the ladies, led by Benita chairman Rohana Mustaffa.

MSG is the main ingredient in the company’s most popular product, Aji-No-Moto.

Besides the seasoning product, the company also produces other food flavourings, namely Tumix, Seri Aji and Aji-Shio.

Founded in Japan in 1909, Ajinomoto has now grown in 26 countries and began its operations in Malaysia in 1961.