What are the Safe Limits on the Use of MSG for Children?

JawaPos.com – The first thousand days are the most important for a child’s growth and development. This means that since the age of the child is zero in the womb, until he is 2 years old, the fulfillment of nutrition must be right. One of them ensures that they have an appetite with a taste that arouses their appetite. One of them is the savory taste or umami and salt wise from an early age.

Based on a study conducted by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), the ideal daily salt consumption is 5 grams per day. However, 5 out of 10 Indonesians consume more than 5 grams of salt.

In the Salt Wisdom campaign, Grant Senjaya from PT Ajinomoto Indonesia explained the salt wise diet educates the public about the importance of a low salt diet and invites Indonesian families to live healthier lives by reducing the intake or use of salt in cooking. One of the factors that make it difficult to reduce salt in cooking is to keep the taste delicious and not bland.

“This Salt Wisdom Campaign can be a smart solution in reducing the use of salt in every dish by maintaining a balanced taste. Reducing salt intake or a low-salt diet can be replaced by using salt with umami spices such as MSG,” Grant Senjaya told reporters in a webinar with Katadata Indonesia, recently.

Is it permissible to use MSG in cooking for children?

Pediatrician from Kasih Ibu Hospital Surakarta dr. MN Ardi Santoso, Sp.A., M.Kes said the fact that the first 1000 days of life are counted from the fetus aged zero to 9 months until the child is born to the age of 2 years. This is an important period in which all of a child’s vital organs are developing rapidly, from the brain, liver, heart, and kidneys. So this period is also called golden age.

“Nutrition must be optimal, the period of a thousand days must be filled with good nutrition. Especially the food problem. That’s because 80 percent of the human brain develops during the first thousand days of life. The trick with optimal nutrition, do not let the weight go down. It has to go up, it can’t be flat or down, so there is a risk of failing to grow,” he explained.

When children don’t have an appetite, she said, mothers are usually worried, is it okay to add umami or MSG flavors to food? According to dr. Ardi, the answer is yes.

“I want to give food a taste, can I use MSG or not? Isn’t it dangerous? On the one hand, children need delicious food, they need good taste. There is a taboo, sugar and salt, it must be limited. And the answer is yes,” he said.

What is MSG?

MSG is also known as micin or Monosodium Glutamate. It is one of the 20 amino acids that play an important role in the human body. The sodium content in MSG is lower than table salt.

“MSG contains 12 sodium. Table salt 39 percent. There is less sodium in MSG than table salt. The risk of hypertension is lower,” he said.

MSG according to him helps digest the intestines, control appetite, low salt diet. And MSG is used as a flavor enhancer.

What is the Safe Limit for Children?

According to dr. Ardi cites BPOM data, the safe level of using MSG as a Food Additive (BTP) to enhance flavor is permitted with maximum or sufficient use. There is no limit.

“BPOM’s words only write ‘enough’, there is no limit. So no need to worry. All this is just for flavor enhancer. Too much also tastes bad. From the World Agency there is no intake limit, with the maximum limit being sufficient. There are no restrictions and it is safe for children, even babies. Because since infancy, actually have been introduced to MSG in breast milk. Mother’s milk contains 44.17 percent MSG of the total protein. So MSG can be used with sufficient limits,” he said.

Editor : Banu Adikara

Reporter : Marieska Harya Virdhani

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