What do people think of Monosodium Glutamate in food? It's a controversial ingredient... some feel that it's overused, and eating it produces negative side effects (the famous 'Chinese Restaurant Syndrome'). While I've felt those effect once or twice after eating in restaurants, I'm not convinced that MSG was the cause (I've eaten plenty of MSG elsewhere with no ill effects). There appears to be no strong scientific evidence of problems, and the FDA classifies it as safe... but there's lots of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Glutamates appear very widely and naturally across a range of food. The Japanese originally identified them as providing a savoury taste (akin to saltiness or sweetness) and named that taste 'Umami'. Italian food is very high in natural glutamates... Parmesan cheese is a very potent source, as are tomatoes and meat. MSG is just an industrial source of this same flavouring. Should we treat MSG akin to salt - an essential and harmless flavouring for our food? Or is it a chemical that we should distrust and reduce our reliance on? (One reason I'm starting this thread is an article I read yesterday divulging the recipe behind KFC's special coating. That's right - the tasty secret it a bucket of MSG).