Avoid Ajinomoto In Your Food

While in my city of Mumbai, I was in a popular high-profile restaurant known for serving Chinese cuisine.  The place is full, there is not a relaxed moment for the staff, most days.  I asked the waiter if ajinomoto was added in the dishes to increase the taste.  The man was not willing to answer my question, but after some persuasion, he brought the manager to my table.  By the nature of the man, I could make out that he was not taking my question with any serious angle though he knew a few of the disadvantages of ajinomoto.  ‘Madam, I’ve heard that ajinomoto causes some side effects, but, to tell you the truth, the owner has been consuming ajinomoto all these years, and nothing has happened to him.  Look at me, I have my lunch here every day of the week.  That way, doctors say smoking is harmful, but who can really say?  I am smoking and I’m alive!’  After his conversation, which was logically so off, I decided that I must tell my readers about the serious side effects of ajinomoto.


But, first, what is ajinomoto? Ajinomoto is a food additive commonly associated with Chinese food. Ajinomoto was discovered in 1909 by the Ajinomoto Corp. of Japan.  The reason it remains popular as food additive is that it is cheap in cost and highly effective in adding flavour.  Now, the latest medical revelations are encouraging a large number of restaurants to refrain from using this product due to its harmful effects.   


Some of the side effects of ajinomoto are: fluctuations in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, asthma attacks, burning sensation in the back, facial tightness, headache, nausea and even paralysis.  These reactions might happen at any time, meaning, immediately or two days later after consuming.  Certain studies have suggested that long time use of ajinomoto can cause brain lesions.  Over-use of the product may cause obesity, or an imbalance of the hypothalamus gland.


I feel, that’s a deadly cost to be enjoying Chinese food laced with ajinomoto!  I feel, the best way to enjoy a Chinese meal is to opt for those eateries where ajinomoto is not in use.  My experience tells me that if you request certain establishments – they oblige you by not making use of the food additive in your individual dishes.  I also believe that certain styles of choices are suitable in varying degrees to all of us.  The choice is ours…


Geeta Chhabra


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