Everyone knows that some people get reactions after eating the food ingredient monosodium glutamate – reactions that include migraine headaches, upset stomach, fuzzy thinking, diarrhea, heart irregularities, asthma, and/or mood swings. What many don’t know, is that more than 40 different ingredients contain the chemical in monosodium glutamate (processed free glutamic acid) that causes these reactions. The following is a list of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid.
Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid
- Glutamic acid (E 620)2
- Glutamate (E 620)
- Monosodium glutamate (E 621
- Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
- Calcium glutamate (E 623)
- Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
- Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
- Natrium glutamate
- Yeast extract
- Anything “hydrolyzed”
- Any “hydrolyzed protein”
- Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
- Yeast foods, Yeast nutrients
- Autolyzed yeast
- Textured protein
- Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
- Soy protein isolate
- Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
- Whey protein isolate
- Anything “…protein”
Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamicacid:
- Carrageenan (E407)
- Bouillon and broth
- Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
- Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
- Anything “ultra pasteurized”
- Barley malt
- Pectin (E 440) Protease
- Anything “enzyme modified”
- Anything containing “enzymes”
- Malt extract
- Soy sauce
- Soy sauce extract
- Anything “protein fortified”
- Anything “fermented” Seasonings
The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG- reaction triggers in highly sensitive people:
- Corn starch
- Corn syrup
- Modified food starch
- Lipolyzed butter fat
- Rice syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Milk powder
- Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
- Most things low fat or no fat
- Anything Enriched anything Vitamin enriched Soy sauce extract
- Anything “protein fortified” Anything “fermented” Seasonings
Glutamic acid found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions. To cause adverse reactions, the glutamic acid must have been processed/manufactured
or come from protein that has been fermented. E numbers are use in Europe in place of food additive names.
Low fat and no fat milk products often contain milk solids that contain MSG and many dairy products contain carrageenan, guar gum, and/or locust bean gum. Low fat and no fat versions of ice cream and cheese may not be as obvious as yogurt, milk, cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc., but they are not exceptions.
Protein powders contain glutamic acid, which, invariably, will be processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Individual amino acids are not always listed on labels of protein powders.
At present there is an FDA requirement to include the protein source when listing hydrolyzed protein products on labels of processed foods. Examples are hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed pea protein, hydrolyzed whey protein, hydrolyzed, corn protein. If a tomato, for example, were whole, it would be identified as a tomato. Calling an ingredient tomato protein indicates that the tomato
has been hydrolyzed, at least in part, and that processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is present.
Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are relatively expensive food additives that work synergistically with inexpensive MSG. Their use suggests that the product has MSG in it. They would probably not be used as food additives if there were no MSG present.
MSG reactions have been reported from soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients with names that include the words
“hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and/or “protein.” Most sun block creams and insect repellents also contain MSG.
Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MSG and/or aspartame, neotame. and AminoSweet (the new name for aspartame). Aspartic acid,
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