34 Facts About Ajinomoto


Ajinomoto was created to let Ikeda, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, sell monosodium glutamate seasoning made from wheat that he invented and patented.

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Ajinomoto created the seasoning after discovering that MSG was the source of a flavor that he called umami.

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Ajinomoto primarily marketed the seasoning to housewives by using their trademark, a housewife in an apron, in newspaper advertisements, on signboards, and on-ground stamps.

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In 1914 Ajinomoto built a new factory in Kawasaki to expand its production of flavoring.

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Ajinomoto opened new offices in Singapore and Hong Kong in 1927 and in Taiwan in 1929 to distribute its product throughout Southeast Asia.

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In 1978, Ajinomoto launched a brand of Chinese seasonings under the brand name Cook Do.

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In 1987, Ajinomoto began researching drug development in the fields of clinical nutrition, anti-cancer drugs, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular drugs.

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Ajinomoto later released JINO as a cosmetic and amino acid for athletes, followed by Amino Vital, a supplement to JINO released in 1995.

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In July 2003, Ajinomoto bought the French company Orsan from the UK-based Tate and Lyle Group, renaming Orsan to AJI-NO-MOTO Foods, Europe.

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In January 2006, Ajinomoto bought the cooking sauce and condiments manufacturer Amoy Food from the French dairy product company Groupe Danone.

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In 2010, due to a rise in foreign competition, Ajinomoto began restructuring to focus on several of its products while divesting others.

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Ajinomoto divested its Calpis beverage unit in Japan in 2012, the Ajinomoto Sweetener Company in October 2015, and Amoy Food in November 2018.

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Ajinomoto decided to focus on its food and biomedical divisions, and acquired the contract manufacturing organization Althea Technologies in 2013, the frozen food company Windsor Quality Holdings, Inc in November 2014, and the frozen food company Lavelli·Terrell·Smile in November 2017.

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In October 2017, Ajinomoto introduced a "Global Brand Logo" for use throughout the Ajinomoto group.

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In December 2020, Ajinomoto was included by CDP in its "Climate Change A List for 2020" for the first time, as one of the most outstanding companies in terms of climate change-related initiatives and information disclosure for its climate impact.

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In 1970, Ajinomoto launched the bonito flavored seasoning HON-DASHI in Japan, and later adapted the product to other markets with local flavors.

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In 1978 Ajinomoto released Cook Do, a series of Chinese cuisine seasoning products, and later added other cuisine seasoning flavors to the Cook Do product line.

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Ajinomoto entered the frozen food business in 1972, and currently sells a variety of frozen food products, including dumplings, noodles, and cooked rice.

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Ajinomoto Group started an animal nutrition business in 1965 and subsequently established an international production and supply system for amino acids to be used in animal feed.

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Ajinomoto developed a lysine formula called AjiPro-L for lactating dairy cows, which allows the lysine to reach the intestine without decomposing in the stomach.

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Ajinomoto has developed mild cleansing agents such as Amisoft and Amilite, and humectant emollients such as Eldew and Amihop.

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Ajinomoto developed its resin functional materials business using technology obtained through the production of MSG.

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Ajinomoto developed the Ajinomoto Build-up Film interlayer insulating materials for semiconductor packages in high-performance CPUs, it was developed from the basic research on applications of amino acid chemistry to epoxy resins and their composites.

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In 1956, Ajinomoto began producing the world's first amino acid infusion, enteral nutrition products, and crystalline amino acids that could be used as raw materials in pharmaceutical products.

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In 1995, Ajinomoto began selling an amino acid supplement called Amino Vital for professional sports athletes.

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In 2011, Ajinomoto began offering an "Amino Index" health checkup, which statistically analyzes the difference in amino acid concentrations between healthy individuals and adults suffering from cancer and other serious diseases to aid the early detection of cancer and other diseases.

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Ajinomoto currently operates separate divisions for North America, Latin America, and Asia, with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa being combined into the EMEA division.

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Ajinomoto owns dozens of subsidiaries globally for its food, biochemical, and healthcare businesses.

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In 1986, the Ajinomoto Group produced lysine at its Iowa factory of Heartland Lysine Co.

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Safety of MSG, as related to the corporate image of Ajinomoto, has been a point of discussion since 1910, with unsubstantiated rumors relating to the use of serpents in its raw materials.

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In early 2001, Ajinomoto was involved in an incident in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, when it was revealed that a pork-based enzyme had been used in its MSG production.

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Additionally, Ajinomoto announced that its products were derived from soybeans.

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In 2008, Ajinomoto sued British supermarket chain Asda, part of Walmart, for a malicious falsehood action concerning its aspartame product when the chemical was listed as excluded from the chain's product line along with other "nasties".

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In June 2010, an appeal court reversed the decision, allowing Ajinomoto to pursue a case against Asda to protect the reputation of its aspartame.

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