Replacing MSG in Ranch Dressing—Naturally

Salt of the Earth, Ltd., has successfully replaced monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the famous Ranch dressing with Mediterranean Umami, an all-natural sodium-reduction ingredient based on vegetable extracts and sea salt. Mediterranean Umami keeps the “craveable” flavor of Ranch dressing, without MSG, while reducing sodium at the same time.

Ranch dressing is one of the most popular salad dressings and dipping sauces in the US, yet previous efforts to get rid of MSG in this classic salad dressing and dip have been unsuccessful until now. Salt of the Earth completed multiple trials of Ranch dressing formulations with and without Mediterranean Umami. These trials effectively demonstrated the ability to maintain the true flavor of Ranch dressing, but with 30% less sodium, and without using MSG or yeast extracts.

“We worked intensively to crack the code of MSG’s unique flavor contribution to traditional Ranch dressing formulations,” explains David Hart, Business Unit Director for Salt of the Earth. “The main challenge was to get that ‘craveable’ flavor Ranch is known for, without MSG. Mediterranean Umami is similar to MSG in its ability to boost taste, and it does give the umami flavor consumers crave.”

“Chinese restaurant syndrome” is a term coined in the 1960s referring to a group of symptoms some people claim to experience after eating foods made with MSG, a common ingredient in Chinese cooking. Today, it’s known as MSG Symptom Complex. These symptoms often include headache, skin flushing, and sweating.

Many consumers claim to suffer such side effects from MSG ingestion and avoid the ingredient. This gives MSG a strongly negative perception. “Being a completely natural combination of vegetable extracts and sea salt, Mediterranean Umami does not trigger side-effects and is a clean-label product evoking no negative consumer reactions,” assures Hart.