Our Commitment to Nutrition and Research

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

Driven by the desire to improve the health of the Japanese people, University of Tokyo scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda developed the first umami seasoning, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, in 1908, with the intent of enhancing the deliciousness of nutritious foods. Shortly thereafter, AJI-NO-MOTO® was launched, and a company grounded on the ideal of “Eat Well, Live Well” was born. To this day, we continue to create nutrition innovations to meet the needs of people around the world through extensive research and our unique approach to unlocking the power of amino acids, essential substances 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 create delicious meals and to improve society by promoting growth, development and recovery; supporting physical health; and aiding 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


Dr. Kikunae Ikeda identified glutamate as the amino acid responsible for what he called umami, literally “the essence of deliciousness,” thus discovering what we now know to be the fifth taste.


The company founded by Dr. Ikeda began selling AJI-NO-MOTO® umami seasoning (monosodium glutamate, or MSG) with the intent of enhancing the deliciousness of nutritious foods.


Launch of Crystal of Essential Amino Acids for use in medical infusions.


Launch of the Victory Project® to support the health and performance of Olympic athletes.


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


Acquisition of Cambrooke Therapeutics to further our commitment to medical nutrition.


Introduction of the Ajinomoto Group Nutrition Profiling System (ANPS), a method of scientifically assessing the nutritional value of products to aid in reformulating existing products and developing healthier options.


Establishment of our Nutrition Commitment, a roadmap for nutritional improvement, with KPIs for achieving it.The percentage of products with improved nutritional value among Ajinomoto Group products portfolio is 50%*.


*Products with improved nutritional value means the products that meet our criteria and contribute to the intake of improved nutrition from an international public health perspective.

15 % of the Ajinomoto Group product portfolio is 3.5 or more-star rating using the Health Star Rating system; based on full product portfolio.

25 % of Ajinomoto’s portfolio has a 3.5 or more-star rating using the Health Star Rating system; based on exclusion of products that can only be consumed by adding ingredients other than water; products include seasonings, sauces, oils and some soups, processed foods and frozen foods.