NIGERIA – The West African Seasoning Company Limited (WASCO), the Nigerian subsidiary of Japan based Ajinomoto Co. Inc, says it has extended the Ajinomoto safety awareness campaign to the South-Eastern part of the country.

The company, which manufactures Ajinomoto seasoning brand, says that the campaign seeks to shore up consumer confidence on the quality of the food seasoning, also known as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) amid the growing safety concerns.

AJI-NO-MOTO, the trade name for the company’s original monosodium glutamate product, was the first MSG seasoning produced since 1909.

According to WASCO it has engaged over 130 medical personnel and food scientists who have affirmed that the food seasoning was safe for consumption.

The company said that the campaign will also engage top management led by its Managing Director, Mr Niki Junichi and has further appointed Helen Paul and Miyonse Amosu as ambassadors for Ajinomoto Umami seasoning.

“MSG, based on scientific findings, is 100 percent safe for consumption. For over a century now, MSG has been used to add Umami, the 5th basic taste, that enhances taste and make dishes more delicious since it was discovered in 1909.

“MSG is present in most natural foods such as meat, seafood, vegetable, cheese and milk. Umami is a universal taste.”

“As a food company, we have been in Nigeria since 1991 distributing nationwide. Over the years we have grown especially in the Northern area and so we want to renew our strength in the Southern areas of Nigeria to complement our efforts in the North,” Mr Niki affirmed.

According to a Vanguard report, the safety of umami substance has been approved by authorities across the world such as in Japan, the United States, European Union, Australia, as well as by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria.

Junichi noted that the team will interact with medical, scientific and professional groups, and use their platforms to correct the perception issues and misconceptions that trailed Ajinomoto in the South.

He explained that, umami is the fifth basic taste along with sweet, bitter, salty and sour while glutamate is an amino acid found naturally in protein-containing foods such as meat, tomato, vegetables, poultry and human breast milk.

Japan’s Ajinomoto Group is one of the multinational food and biotechnology firm with presence in 130 countries and regions worldwide and over 25 years of operation in the Nigerian market.