MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) has a bad reputation. A lot of products will say ‘MSG-free’ as if it’s a badge of quality.
When we first looked at making a Ranch seasoning, we wanted to make it MSG-free as well, because, well, people don’t like when things contain MSG. It just sounds scary and artificial... But after a bit more research we discovered that MSG is actually AWESOME.
It’s the sodium salt of glutamic acid and was first used over 100 years ago. Glutamate occurs naturally in foods and it’s that stuff that makes everything taste moreish and gives it an umami like flavour. Marmite for example is pretty much pure glutamate but they just call it yeast extract and as it’s naturally occurring, no one seems to have an issue with it.
There’s an outdated belief that MSG causes headaches and other adverse reactions, but so far, no study has conclusively proven this.
In a lot of Asian countries MSG is used like any other cupboard spice/seasoning and ever since we started experimenting with it, we’ve been hooked. It enhances flavours without overpowering them and gives seasonings a full flavour that is hard to achieve otherwise.
So, our Ranch seasoning proudly contains MSG and we believe it’s a big reason for why we were able to keep it vegan. We’re really picky with our ingredients (our sauces are all water- and thickener -free for example) and we have the stance that everything we use needs to add flavour.
If you’d like to do some further reading check out these articles from:
The Washington Post