Our Commitment to Nutrition and Research

The Ajinomoto Group was built on a history and foundation of “Eat Well, Live Well,” reflecting our founder’s hope to promote well-balanced meals that are full of flavor and nutrition.

Grounded in a strong desire to improve the health of the Japanese people, Tokyo scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda discovered the first umami seasoning (monosodium glutamate, or MSG) in 1908 with the intent to enhance the deliciousness of nutritious food. Shortly thereafter, this seasoning was brought to market as AJI-NO-MOTO® and a company was born, grounded in an ideal that continues today: “Eat Well, Live Well.” To this day, we continue to create nutrition innovations to meet the needs of people around the world based on extensive research and our unique approach to unlocking the power of amino acids, an essential substance for life.

Over the years, we have worked to evaluate and discover the benefits of amino acids and how they can be used in different ways to improve society, including to create delicious meals; promote growth, development and recovery; support physical health; and create new functions that support advancements in science and technology.

The need to enhance nutrition is a global challenge that can be addressed through improved eating habits. The Ajinomoto Group is driven by the philosophy that when nutritious foods taste good, are easily accessible, and respect local customs and flavors, global health can be optimized.

A Snapshot of Our Nutrition History

1908

Dr. Kikunae Ikeda discovered umami, the fifth taste that literally means “essence of deliciousness,” and identified glutamate as the amino acid responsible for umami flavor.

1909

AJI-NO-MOTO® began selling umami seasoning (monosodium glutamate, or MSG) with the intent of enhancing the deliciousness of nutritious food.

1956

Launched Crystal of Essential Amino Acids, ingredients used in medical infusions.

2003

Started supporting the health and performance of Olympic athletes through the Victory Project®.

2012

Launched the School Meal Project to provide well-balanced meals to 1.2 million elementary school children in Vietnam.

2017

The Ajinomoto Group acquired Cambrooke Therapeutics to further the commitment to medical nutrition.