MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in foods such as stews and meat soups. It was first prepared in 1908 by Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda, who was trying to isolate and duplicate the savory taste of kombu, an edible seaweed used as a base for many Japanese soups. MSG as a flavor enhancer balances, blends, and rounds the perception of other tastes.
Glutamic acid was discovered and identified in 1866 by the German chemist Karl Heinrich Ritthausen, who treated wheat gluten (for which it was named) with sulfuric acid. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University isolated glutamic acid as a taste substance in 1908 from the seaweed Laminaria japonica (kombu) by aqueous extraction and crystallization, calling its taste umami.
Ikeda noticed that dashi, the Japanese broth of katsuobushi and kombu, had a unique taste not yet scientifically described (not sweet, salty, sour, or bitter). To verify that ionized glutamate was responsible for umami, he studied the taste properties of glutamate salts: calcium, potassium, ammonium, and magnesium glutamate. All these salts elicited umami and a metallic taste due to the other minerals. Of them, sodium glutamate was the most soluble, most palatable, and easiest to crystallize. Ikeda called his product "monosodium glutamate", and submitted a patent to produce MSG; the Suzuki brothers began commercial production of MSG in 1909 as Aji-no-moto
According to wikipedia