Does MSG Go Bad?

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Monosodium Glutamate, abbreviated as MSG, is a common food additive often used to enhance flavor. It is a rich and non-essential amino acid already produced by your body, serving several functions inside. MSG is a white crystalline powder that resembles salt and originally is made from sodium and glutamic acid.

Some people believe that the glutamate from MSG can lead to excessive stimulation of nerve cells, leading to their destruction. While on the other hand, official sources like the FDA have claimed that if MSG is consumed in moderate amount it is safe to use it. However, if taken mega doses then it may have its side effects.

How To Store MSG

When it comes to things like MSG, you can store it for the longest time. One of the reasons for this is it usually comes without an expiry date. Therefore you will not have to worry about if it goes bad after a short period.

How can you tell if MSG is good or bad? If you do not observe any side effects due to its use, there is no reason to avoid it. A moderate amount of MSG for the enhancement of flavor is not harmful. Therefore, suitable conditions are required for storing MSG to use it from time to time.

As Monosodium Glutamate has a fine crystalline structure and resembles the properties of salt, it can easily be stored the similar way you preserve other salts. Being an additive, MSG is less required than common table salt. Hence, only a small amount of it is needed at every time of use. Below are some common tips to store MSG to be able to add flavors anytime you need.

It is not necessary the packaging in which monosodium glutamate comes in is durable. It is best if you get rid of the plastic packaging and store it in something more appropriate.

Store In Glass Jars

Empty jam or pickle jars can be used for this purpose. Wash and rinse the jar thoroughly and keep it for drying, as MSG is best preserved in a non-moist environment.

Keep At Room Temperature

It is recommended to keep MSG in a dry place and at room temperature to make it last longer.

Keep It Sealed

Keeping MSG open to the humidity is not suitable. The jar you store in should be covered properly. Also, make sure the spoon you use in it should be completely dried.

Can You Freeze MSG

It is often the best and reliable option to freeze something if you want to keep it for long. Although freezing helps but some things are better left at room temperature. The same is the case for MSG. Have you ever heard of freezing salt? I bet you did not.

As MSG is also a sodium salt and does not require any freezing, you cannot freeze MSG. This is because the salt needs a dry environment to keep it lasting. If you freeze it, the moisture that gets dissolved in the crystals will ruin the taste and the salt. Therefore, it is best to keep it at room temperature.

How Long Does MSG last

When it comes to dried items like salts and powdered spices, they have the longest shelf lives than other items. Many packaging of MSG does not contain an expiry date which is an indication it can be used for as long as possible. Under the storage conditions described in this article above, monosodium glutamate can last for years until you finally finish it.

However, handling conditions must also be kept in mind. If you leave a spoon inside the jar of MSG, make sure it is dry. Also, it is recommended to dry your hands if you are adding the salt by pinch. If left in the open, its shelf life decreases due to humidity and pests. This is because its odor may attract insects and pests when left in the open, as some pests even take birth in some spices.

How To Tell If MSG Is Bad

Compared to other powdered items such as spices, it is unlikely that monosodium glutamate ever goes bad. When it comes to salts, they have such long shelf lives that they are consumed completely even before they begin to go bad.

If you are storing a large amount of MSG due to its lack of availability, then there might be a chance some of it goes bad. Otherwise, this is not the case. Some of the ways to tell of MSG is no longer fit for use are:

  • Appearance: For example, you mistakenly dropped some of the oil or any other spice in the container MSG is stored. Its color might change, and it might lose its flavor.
  • Taste: If MSG loses its taste, it will no longer fit for adding in your Chinese food.