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Ajinomoto means “essence of taste.”

Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc. has a rich history helping food manufacturers of all sizes deliver the highest quality taste enhancement.

Our History

From our beginnings in 1908 to present day, scroll through our timeline to discover all our key points in history.

1908

The Discovery of Umami

Japanese scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda discovered that the amino acid L-glutamate, found in kombu (seaweed), is the essence of umami and what we now know as the 5th basic taste.

1909

World’s First Umami Seasoning: AJI-NO-MOTO®

Dr. Ikeda and his business partner created and launched the world’s first umami seasoning, AJI-NO-MOTO®, and Ajinomoto Co. was founded.

1917

Ajinomoto Co. Opens First U.S. Office

Ajinomoto Co. opens its New York office.

1980’s

Ajinomoto Scientists Discover Kokumi

Ajinomoto scientists identified the compounds for delivering roundness and complexity as alliin and glutathione and called them kokumi substances.

1982

Opening of First Amino Acid Plant in United States

Amino acid production begins in Raleigh, North Carolina.

1986

Lysine Production Begins to Support Animal Feed Industry

Lysine production begins in Eddyville, Iowa.

1993

MSG Production Begins in United States

Monosodium glutamate production begins in Eddyville, Iowa.

2000

Ajinomoto Enters Frozen Foods Industry

Ajinomoto Frozen Foods, Inc., Established in Portland, Oregon.

2014

Expanding Frozen Foods Business

Ajinomoto Windsor (name later changed to Ajinomoto Foods North America, Inc.) is established by acquiring Windsor Quality Holdings in Ontario, California.

2014

Windsor

Ajinomoto Windsor is established by acquiring Windsor Quality Holdings in Ontario, California

2017

Ajinomoto Acquires Cambrooke

Ajinomoto leverages expertise in amino acid research and enters medical food industry by establishing Ajinomoto Cambrooke.

2017

Ajinomoto U.S. Headquarters Relocates

Ajinomoto North America, Inc. moves headquarters from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Itasca, Illinois.

2018

Ajinomoto Group Brand Logo Established

Ajinomoto Co. announces new logo change for all global affiliates.

2018

Ajinomoto North America, Inc. Name Change

Ajinomoto North America, Inc. changes name to "Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc."

2019

More Than Gourmet, Inc. Strategic Partnership

Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition partners with culinary-grade stocks & concentrates company, More Than Gourmet, to amplify rich savory taste options to customers.

About Us

Providing products that not only taste good, but are good for you, is The Ajinomoto Group’s promise. We established our name with the world’s first umami seasoning, monosodium glutamate, and today offer a variety of savory ingredients, sweeteners, texture ingredients, amino acids, specialty ingredients and more.

With our broad portfolio of innovative ingredient solutions that span the savory, sweet and texture categories, we’re able to solve all types of formulation challenges.

OUR VISION

Co-create greater wellness for people all around the world using the power of amino acids to resolve the food and health issues in relation to dietary habits and aging populations.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to contribute to the world's food and wellness, and to better lives for the future.

Fermentation, at the heart of our business.

We start with high quality materials, for example, cane sugar and corn.

We tap into our fermentation technology expertise to produce our ingredients

Then, we develop products that enhance taste, improve texture, and support healthy living.

We make it possible for clients to build strong brands and for consumers to eat well & live well.

High Quality Taste Enhancement

At Ajinomoto, we focus on taste, centering on umami, kokumi, savory and sweet. Our formulation expertise with ingredients and food systems enable our customers to build strong brands and offer consumers great-tasting food products.


The pursuit of wellness through nutrition is trending globally. Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition utilizes our core competency in savory and sweet ingredient technologies to provide solutions that promote healthy living, such as reduced sodium and sugar.

Our Ingredient Technologies

  • YEASTS & YEAST EXTRACTS
  • FLAVOR ENHANCERS
  • FLAVOR SYSTEMS
  • HIGH POTENCY SWEETENERS
  • NUCLEOTIDES
  • MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE
  • NON-SODIUM GLUTAMATES
  • TAMARI SOY SAUCES & SEASONINGS
  • SHOYU SOY SAUCES & SEASONINGS
  • OTHER SEASONINGS
  • ROASTED SESAME OIL
  • ENZYMES/TRANSGLUTAMINASE
  • STOCKS & CONCENTRATES
  • TANNIC ACIDS
  • AMINO ACIDS
  • COLLAGEN
  • GELATIN
  • SHIO KOJI
  • CORN POWDER
  • MIRIN