Definition of monosodium glutamate in US English:

monosodium glutamate

(also MSG)


  • A compound that occurs naturally as a breakdown product of proteins and is used as a flavor enhancer in food (although itself tasteless). A traditional ingredient in Asian cooking, it was originally obtained from seaweed but is now mainly made from bean and cereal protein.

    Chemical formula: HOOC(CH₂)₂(NH₂)COONa

    • ‘As a general rule, the more food is processed, the more likely it is to contain monosodium glutamate.’
    • ‘Wheat gluten has also been used as a cattle feed and as a starting point for the manufacture of the food flavour enhancer, monosodium glutamate.’
    • ‘Certain additives such as artificial sweeteners, or monosodium glutamate are banned in organic foods while the use of others is restricted.’
    • ‘It is superior ingredients, not monosodium glutamate, that contribute to the fresh flavour, he said.’
    • ‘Soy protein processing produces glutamic acid - the natural form of monosodium glutamate, a brain poison - and toxins and carcinogens are formed.’


monosodium glutamate

/ˌmɑnəˌsoʊdiəm ˈɡludəˌmeɪt//ˌmänəˌsōdēəm ˈɡlo͞odəˌmāt/