NOT LOVIN' IT: KFC's secret recipe exposes controversial ingredient used in seasoning

A woman posted a picture of a packet of KFC seasoning after discovering it contained MSG

NOT LOVIN' IT: KFC's secret recipe exposes controversial ingredient used in seasoning
The secret ingredient has revived the debate again (David Silverman/Getty Images, Facebook/Aotearoa Kai Gatherers)
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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: The lip-smacking, finger-licking taste of crispy fried chicken from KFC has hordes of loyal customers across the globe. Many have tried to recreate the recipe involving the 'secret' ingredients; and now, one woman from New Zealand has shared an image of a packet of seasoning that reveals just what herbs and spices are used in the delicious fried chicken. The KFC customer was shocked to find one name in the list of ingredients - the controversial MSG. 

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The seasoning packet was labeled 'COLONEL SANDERS' RECIPE Kentucky Fried Chicken Seasoning', and the first ingredient listed was monosodium glutamate. The woman was shocked, thinking the flavor enhancer was an illegal ingredient. "It's like salt on crack," she wrote on Facebook, sharing an image of KFC's famously secret recipe

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A woman shared the image of KFC's Seasoning packet
A woman shared the image of KFC's Seasoning packet (Facebook/Aotearoa Kai Gatherers)

As per a Daily Mail article, KFC's website confirms it uses MSG. "Some of our food does contain MSG but rest assured, it's only present at levels that are safe for the general population," reads a section, adding, "It's a recognised flavour enhancer that also occurs naturally in foods such as meat, fish, milk, vegetables, fruits and cheese."

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Regardless, people have split opinions regarding the same. While one person wrote, "Yuck, no wonder I always feel sick afterwards," there are others who defended the use of MSG. There was a similar debate on Twitter some time ago, with one person writing, "You know, MSG gets a bad rep for literally no reason. I checked out the actual science...then I bought some and I never looked back! It’s so AWESOME. MSG is not bad for you and you should totally use it, errybody!" Another user chimed in, "I know, East Asians use MSG on their dishes daily. They don't have any problem."

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Notably, the uses and effects of monosodium glutamate have often been a subject of controversy. As per Daily Mail's article, extensive studies and research spanning over a period of 40 years have not been able to find conclusive links between MSG and serious illnesses in humans. At the same time, there are people who experience symptoms such as nausea, headaches and palpitations after consuming food that has MSG. 

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Promotional Atmosphhere at KFC on April 4, 2018 in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
KFC says it uses MSG at levels that are safe for the general population (Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC)

Moreover, Food Standards Australia New Zealand deemed it safe after four decades of research on the addictive flavor enhancer, "Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) reviewed the safety of MSG in 2003 concluding 'there is no convincing evidence that MSG is a significant factor in causing systemic reactions resulting in severe illness or mortality," reads a report on their website, adding, "In Australia and New Zealand, no food additive — including MSG — is approved for use in food until its safety has been established by FSANZ. MSG and other glutamates are among a group of food additives that are generally permitted in foods, due to their safety."

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