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“味”,“精”得起考验(1)
2002年12月05日12:42:46 空中美语 


  A Matter of Taste Dec. 13

  You’ve probably noticed that MSG appears regularly among the ingredients of your favorite foods. But what is it? MSG (or monosodium glutamate) is a chemical commonly used to add flavor to salty or sour tasting foods. The average person knows almost nothing about it, but today MSG is found in everything from potato chips to soup.

  The main component of MSG—glutamate—was identified by Professor Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. But Eastern cooks have been using glutamate-rich seaweed as flavoring for more than 1000 years. Large amounts of glutamate are also found in mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes—which is why they’re particularly useful for adding flavor to other foods.
MSG itself, however, isn’t natural. It’s made by fermenting corn, sugar beets or sugarcane to produce a white crystal that can be easily mixed with most foods. It has no nutritional value and no flavor of its own. Instead, it simulates flavor by exciting the brain of the person that is eating it.

  你可能已经注意到味精经常出现在你爱吃的食物成分中。但它是什么呢?味精(又叫谷氨酸钠)是一种常用来为咸味或酸味食物增加口感的化学物质。一般人对它没什么概念,不过今天味精却充斥于从薯片到汤的各种食物。

  1908 年,池田菊苗教授鉴定出味精的主要成分——谷氨酸盐。但一千多年来,东方的厨师一直用富含谷氨酸盐的海藻当调味料。磨菇、奶酪和西红柿里也含有大量的谷氨酸盐,正因如此,它们常被特别用来为其他食物增加味道。
然而,味精本身并非天然食品。它是从发酵的玉米、甜菜或甘蔗中产生的白色结晶体,可以轻易和大多数其他食物混合。味精本身既没有营养也没有味道。相反,它通过刺激食用者的脑部模拟出味道。

  Vocabulary
  1. regularly adv. often 经常地;定期地

  The number four bus runs regularly down this street.
  4路公共汽车固定经过这条街。

  2. ingredient n. sth. used to make sth. else 原料;成分
  To make a chocolate cake, you need these ingredients: flour, water, eggs, sugar, and chocolate.
  做巧克力蛋糕需要以下原料:面粉、水、鸡蛋、糖和巧克力。

  3. component n. a part of sth. bigger 成分;零件
  I decided not to buy the car because its electrical components were not working properly.
  我决定不买这辆车,因为它的电子零件运作不正常。

  4. identify v. to know and name 确认;鉴别出
  Newton identified gravity as the force which prevents things on the earth’s surface from getting pulled into space.
牛顿确认重力是阻止地球表面物体被拉入太空的力量。

  5. crystal n. a mineral or chemical compound that is symmetrically or evenly shaped 结晶,晶体

  Eva wiped up the sugar crystals she had spilt on the table.
  伊娃把自己洒在桌上的糖擦干净。

  6. nutritional adj. having the vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. that one’s body needs to be healthy 营养的
  Apples are a more nutritional snack than popcorn.
  苹果是比爆米花更有营养的零食。

  More Information 仅供参考,不须强记
  1. monosodium glutamate n. 谷氨酸钠;味精
  2. ferment v. 使发酵
  3. sugar beet n. 甜菜
  4. simulate v. 模拟


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