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Can the seasoning Accent be substituted for MSG, for example in General Tso's Chicken?

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MSG is the primary ingredient in Accent. The full ingredient list for Accent "original flavor" is as follows:

Monosodium Glutamate, Salt, Chili Pepper, Tricalcium Phosphate (As Anticaking Agent), Spice (Cumin, Oregano), Paprika Extractives(color), Garlic Extractives, Onion Extractives, Yellow No.6 Lake, Yellow No.5 Lake.

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  • As of late 2020, the product itself currently lists MSG as the only ingredient, and it appears likely to be correct, given that it looks similar in color and texture to table salt and has no detectable fragrance. However, the Accent website currently lists as ingredients: "Monosodium Glutamate, Dehydrated Garlic, Spices, Salt, Paprika (as color), Dehydrated Onion, Red Pepper." There appear to be no named variations of the product. I contacted them on their site to try to get to the bottom of this. – Jeff Axelrod Dec 20 '20 at 17:09
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Sources say: yes!

This PDF also shows what you can look for on a label to indicate MSG's presence.

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"Accent" is simply a brand name. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is the generic name of the compound.

Edit: Hobodave is also correct, and this answer might seem misleading alongside it, so I want to clarify. You rarely see pure generic MSG outside of labs and specialty stores. Normally when you see a recipe call for MSG, it is referring to one of the various brands of "MSG flavor enhancers", and Accent is the most popular one.

So, they aren't precisely the same thing, but I wouldn't even call it a substitution; Accent is what almost everyone uses when they need MSG (at least in Canada and the USA) and you can definitely use it here.

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    I've always used pure generically bottled MSG. – hobodave Aug 18 '10 at 14:59
  • @hobodave: Where do you even find that? Surely not a typical grocery store? – Aaronut Aug 18 '10 at 15:03
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    Yep, a typical grocery store. It comes in a 1L container and is usually next to other generic branded "seasoning mixes". I'll take a pic next time I go. – hobodave Aug 18 '10 at 15:14

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