Tag Archives | Additives

How the Ancient Romans Made MSG

Fall Of Roman EmpireSome researchers contend this food habit helped influence the decline the Roman Empire. Here’s a balanced look at MSG from Esther Inglis-Arkell on io9.com:

Monosodium glutamate is a food additive that enhances flavor. Although it’s frowned upon today, the ancient Romans loved it and ate it with almost every meal.

There’s been some debate over what exactly monosodium glutamate does to people. Some people say it gives them severe headaches, numbness, weakness, and even heart palpitations. Scientists could confirm that it does give some people short-lived reactions, but no tests showed that it had long-term health effects. Some say that it’s an addictive substance which causes people to crave it repeatedly if they try it too often. Others say it’s just a flavor enhancer, and people crave it because it makes things taste better.

The chemical is listed as ‘safe’ by the FDA, although they do require it to be clearly listed as an additive in any food product that uses it.

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China Produces “Rice” Made From Plastic

Raw Story reports:
China's history with food safety is a rocky one, but even in the annals of robbery and abuse, this will go down in infamy. Various reports in Singapore media have said that Chinese companies are mass producing fake rice made, in part, out of plastic, according to one online publication Very Vietnam. The "rice" is made by mixing potatoes, sweet potatoes and plastic. The potatoes are first formed into the shape of rice grains. Industrial synthetic resins are then added to the mix. The rice reportedly stays hard even after being cooked. The Korean-language Weekly Hong Kong reported that the fake rice is being sold in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province.
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