Why Do We Call it Betsin/Vetsin ?

Have you ever thought vetsin (betsin) is a common name for monosodium glutamate, MSG? I thought it was!

The right term is Ve-Tsin, not vetsin or betsin. It is a trade name, like the very popular Aji-No-Moto. It is manufactured by Tien Chu Ve-Tsin Chemical Limited. A Chinese chemical company that was established in 1929. So there is a strong possibility that Chinese merchants were responsible for bringing the vetsin here in the Philippines. It became popular to our elders long before the Aji-No-Moto was introduced. People called it vetsin and continue calling it such even after Aji-No-Moto ate the competition.

Some products are so popular that we use its trade name to refer to similar products of different brands.

The customer says:

– May I buy colgate, preferably Close-Up? Why is he buying a Close-Up colgate?

– Please xerox my notes! The establishment only have Canon photocopiers so how can he do xerox ?

vetsin imagesIn can is Vet-Tsin Gourmet Powder, by The Tien Chu VE-Tsin (Hong Kong) Company Limited. The other two are manufactured by other companies.

MSG is known around the world as (msgtruth.org):

– In Japan, MSG is labeled as or – Ajinomoto
– In China, MSG = wie jing
– In the Phillipines,  MSG = Vetsin
– In Thailand, MSG = phong churot
– In Germany, MSG = Natriumglutaminat
– In Europe – MSG = E621, E620-625  also contain glutamate
– In the US – “umami”, MSG, glutamate, free glutamic acid


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