Industrial food manufacturers market and use MSG as a flavor enhancer because it balances, blends and rounds the total perception of other tastes. The L-glutamate form of MSG confers the same "umami" taste of free L-glutamate naturally found in foods. It has long been known that there are four basic tastes - sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It is now thought that there is a fifth taste, called "umami." Umami is the savory taste that occurs naturally in foods such as tomatoes and ripe cheese.
· MSG is used in crackers (with cheese flavor), packaged foods such as soups, sauces, seasonings, and instant snacks.