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Many of us eat more saline or high-fat foods than our bodies need. The taste of salted foods and the abundance of greasy dishes are undoubtedly delicious.
However, scientific research suggests a link between high-fat and high-sodium diets and health risks such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Nutritionists recommend reducing the intake of these ingredients. Food manufacturers have responded by launching low-fat and low-sodium variants of numerous popular foods on the market. However, it can be difficult to achieve an acceptable taste balance in such foods because the removal of fat or sodium can result in a stale taste.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be very useful here. MSG contains only a third of the sodium content in table salt and is used in much lower doses. While MSG does not taste salty per se, using a small amount of monosodium glutamate in a low-sodium product can make it taste as good as its salt-rich counterpart.
Studies have shown that people feel that foods with little salt are much tastier when they have been added a small amount of monosodium glutamate.
A study evaluated the reactions of the test subjects to different variants of a clear soup with and without MSG and with different salinity. The broken horizontal line in the graphic shows the limit below which the study subjects found the soup inedible. Without the addition of MSG, the soup was only edible from a salt content of 0.75%. With MSG, however, the soup was already palatable with a salt content of only 0.4%.
Food for the elderly
With age, most people lose part of their taste and smell. This process usually begins around the age of 60 and becomes more noticeable from the age of 70. As a result, older people change their eating habits, which sometimes leads to poor quality nutrition or inadequate food intake. Glutamate can make a valuable contribution to the nutrition of older people by making numerous foods tastier.