According to the FDA, "monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of the common amino acid glutamic acid." Glutamic acid is naturally present in foods (such as tomatoes) and even in our bodies. It was first extracted in 1908 by Japanese professor, Kikunae Ikeda. Originally extracted by a glutamate-rich seaweed broth, MSG is now extracted through the fermentation of starches, sugar beets, sugar cane or molasses. Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions in tests. As myths about MSG are becoming disproven, the additive is becoming popular with vegetarians as it adds a taste of fattiness to certain foods where it is applied.