According to Ajinomoto Co., Inc., based in Tokyo, the Ajinomoto Group is the leading US supplier of monosodium glutamate (MSG).

In August, the Ajinomoto Group launched an educational campaign, using humor on TikTok, to address misinformation about MSG and the stigma it has surrounding Asian cuisine.

In a video that reached more than 27 million views as of Aug. 9, the company promoted a satirical campaign against pizza, with the hashtag #CancelPizza on its TikTok account, @KnowMSG.

 “What makes pizza so delicious is the inherent presence of MSG in many of its most beloved toppings,” said Tia M. Rains, PhD, vice president of science, innovation and corporate affairs at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition, North America. “As many consumers already know, there are decades of scientific evidence to support the safety of MSG, so we launched this campaign as a way to show that continuing to cancel MSG is as silly as calling to cancel pizza. We blended the allure of viral conspiracy-style comedy with real scientific explanations of MSG’s flavor benefits, aiming to demystify unwarranted bans. Our hope is that foodies and pizza lovers across America begin to question the lack of scientific foundation behind MSG stigmas and embrace it as the safe umami seasoning it truly is.”

According to the Ajinomoto Group, the #CancelPizza video received an overwhelmingly positive response with 70% of the comments defending pizza.“Misunderstandings towards MSG come from outdated stigmas rooted in xenophobia against Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities, and not from science or food safety,” Dr. Rains said. 

“It’s time this umami flavor booster was savored and not shunned in any form.”

To learn more about the #CancelPizza campaign, visit the Know MSG website.

This article is an excerpt from the September 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Global Cuisine feature and more in the digital edition here