About MSG

About MSG

MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market and is used in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and much more. It’s found in your local supermarket and restaurants, in your child’s school cafeteria and, amazingly, even in baby food and infant formula.

You may remember when the MSG powder called “Accent” first hit the U.S. market. Well, it was many decades prior to this, in 1908, that monosodium glutamate was invented. The inventor was Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese man who identified the natural flavor enhancing substance of seaweed.

Taking a hint from this substance, they were able to create the man-made additive MSG, and he and a partner went on to form Ajinomoto, which is now the world’s largest producer of MSG (and interestingly also a drug manufacturer). Chemically speaking, MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants.

It’s a misconception that MSG is a flavor or “meat tenderizer.” In reality, MSG has very little taste at all, yet when you eat MSG, you think the food you’re eating has more protein and tastes better. It does this by tricking your tongue, using a little-known fifth basic taste: umami.

Umami is the taste of glutamate, which is a savory flavor found in many Japanese foods, bacon and also in the toxic food additive MSG. It is because of umami that foods with MSG taste heartier, more robust and generally better to a lot of people than foods without it. The ingredient didn’t become widespread in the United States until after World War II, when the U.S. military realized Japanese rations were much tastier than the U.S. versions because of MSG.

In 1959, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeled MSG as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), and it has remained that way ever since. Yet, it was a telling sign when just 10 years later a condition known as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” entered the medical literature, describing the numerous side effects, from numbness to heart palpitations, that people experienced after eating MSG. Today that syndrome is more appropriately called “MSG Symptom Complex,” which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies as “short-term reactions” to MSG.

Gerbs Roasted and/or seasoned lines are Made, Packaged, Processed, and Shipped in our facility in the historic PK Foundry building in Johnston, Rhode Island. We do not use any cooking oils, thus everything is dry roasted at low temperatures to lock in the natural vitamins, minerals, & omega fatty acids, because we feel baking in a pool of oil is just as unhealthy as frying! We maybe a small business located in the smallest state, but we THINK BIG – Gerbs is unique compared to any of our competition, in that we handle all aspects of operation – from purchasing, production, storage, and distribution/shipping on our 100% dedicated packaging equipment by our specially trained and caring staff.

Gerbs is All Natural


  • Non-GMO
  • Chemical Free
  • Preservative Free
  • Nothing Artificial
  • Nitrates/Nitrite Free
  • Trans-Fat Free
  • MSG Free

Recognized Allergens


Our entire product line is FREE from the Top 11 Recognized Allergen’s. We inspect, roast, package, store, and ship all our lines to ensure Gerbs are: Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Legume Free (which includes beans, peas, lentils, chick peas, lupine), Soy Free, Egg Free, Sesame Free, Milk/Dairy Free, Fish Free, Crustacean Free, Shellfish Free, and Mustard Free.

Testimonial from Clinton Holland

I literally trust this company with my son's life. I originally bought all of their tree nut (and other top allergen) products for my son, who is highly allergic to tree nuts. Their Spicy Pub Mix is all mine. Nothing goes better with cold beer and Sunday football!!