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LPPOM MUI

MSG (MICIN), DOES IT HALAL TO BE CONSUMED?

The trend of micin generation is increasingly prevalent nowadays. This term is widely used to describe the behavior of people today who are not understood, especially on social media. Whatever their conversation through the media, micin is always a scapegoat.

However, is it really that bad to blame it for any of these behaviors? Before discussing further, we try to analogize first the “figure” of the micin itself in the real sense. Micin (or in its chemical term: monosodium glutamate, or abbreviated to MSG) is like a main weapon for most culinary business n traders ranging from retail cart meatball or traders to food stalls, etc. Micin has a very big role in the process of cooking a food. A bowl of delicious soto with micin, for instance, will attract many buyers. Automatically, the Soto seller will also reap huge profits.

Micin, now, has been one of the influential aspects in sellinf food product. Unfortunately, Micin has also a low self-concept. Why? Just look at the price which is only sold for a few rupiah in the market. This will make it easier for people from various circles to get it. Besides that, Micin itself apparently doesn’t have its own specific taste. Micin is only responsible for strengthening the taste of a food and providing a stimulus from the taste which can be received by the tongue (sweet, bitter, salty and sour).

This is in line with was stated by Doddy S. Widodo, one of the top management of seasoning companies in Indonesia. According to him, the existence of MSG will be more developed. This is because MSG can strengthen the taste of food as mentioned above, and hence, it cannot be ruled out, both in the food industry and household consumers. Currently, Micin has many variants and various trademarks.

Dr. Budiatman Satiawihardja — the Expert Team of the Assessment Institute for Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, the Indonesian Council of Ulama (Lembaga Pengkajian Pangan, Obat-obatan dan Kosmetika Majelis Ulama Indonesia, LPPOM MUI) who also serves as a lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural Technology Faculty, IPB — explained that micin comes from glutamic acid which is a microbial product. So the critical points aspects in its biosynthetic process need to be considered.

Production Process

Micin is made from a mixture of glutamic acid and NaOH (sodium hydroxide). Glutamic acid is a dicarboxylic acid (there are two carboxylic groups); in one of the carboxylic groups (-COOH), the H atom is replaced by sodium (Na) into the -COONa group. Glutamic acid itself has a chemical formula COOH (CH2) 3COOH. When combined, then, micin has a chemical formula: COONa (CH2) 3.COOH.

Glutamic acid is produced by Corynebacterium glutamicum bacteria. This bacterium is grown in liquid media. Both the bacteria and growth medium have been engineered to excrete as much as possible glutamic acid.

At the time of initial discovery, Corynebacterium glutamicum can produce glutamic acid around 10-15 g/l. However, new techniques and technologies can produce around 100 g/l of glutamic acid. Then, glutamic acid is harvested from fermented media, separated, and reacted with sodium hydroxide until pH reached 6.8, and finally MSG was formed. With more modern technology, NaOH is immediately added after the fermentation process, so that MSG is formed immediately and can be directly carried out the separation process from the fermentation broth.

The discovery of micin production technology was followed by other flavoring technologies from nucleotide groups, namely adenosine monophosphate (AMP), cytosin monophosphate (CMP), and guanosine monophosphate (GMP). They are produced through microbial fermentation. This type of savory flavor is mixed with all three types of nucleotides so that various variants of flavor enhancement are obtained

Because micin includes fermented microbial products, it should be noted then, that its haram critical points are, both from its material and process. The critical points referred to, namely:

Growth media. In growth media, the bacteria producing glutamic acid and the three types of nucleotides must be ensured to be free from unclean (najis) ingredients or materials. As for the source of nitrogen, namely pepton, it must also be ascertained that it come from halal animal which is slaughtered in accordance with syar’i provisions.

Purification Process. The purification process needs to be done to ensure that there is no residue in the final product, one of which uses resin as a separator. The resin itself is critical in terms of its halal status, because at the beginning, the resin polymerization process is assisted by gelatin. And gelatin itself must come from halal animals and slaughtered in accordance with syar’i provisions. (YS, BS, Usm).

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