Vivek Singh


Aji-no-Moto or Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) is a flavour enhancer being used extensively in South East Asian cuisine. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that MSG is safe when "eaten at customary levels" but there is still great confusion regarding its toxicity at higher concentrations. Therefore, it was decided to assess the mutagenic efficacy of MSG on a plant system and present the findings as a model for probably similar effects in the animal model. For this, a traditionally popular genus for genetic studies, Hordeum vulgare L. or winter barley, was used as the model system. The studies of microsporogenesis were done in order to see the long term effect. The sets were compared with experimental sets of plants grown from seeds treated with a traditional chemical mutagen Ethyl Methane Sulphonate (EMS). The study revealed that MSG does not induce much genotoxic effects at lower doses and the chromosomal damages induced were very few. However, at higher doses, it almost equals the effects of EMS in terms of heritable genetic damage. The work is significant as MSG continues to be one of the most popular flavouring agents and does not face any challenge to its biosafe status. However, the clastogenic and chromotoxic effects of higher doses of MSG as observed in the study are in total contradiction to the popular belief.


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Aji-no-moto, Barley, Chromosomal aberrations, EMS, Genotoxic, Monosodium glutamate

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Singh, V. . (2021). A comparison of mutagenic potential of Aji-no-Moto with a traditional chemical mutagen on microsporogenesis in barley (Hordeum vulagre L.). Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 13(4), 1378–1382. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v13i4.3042
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