Names of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG)1
(Last updated February, 2011)
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 list of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid has been compiled over the last 20 years from consumers’ reports of adverse reactions and information provided by manufacturers and food technologists.
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)
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid:
Carrageenan (E 407)
Bouillon and broth
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
Pectin (E 440)
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Soy sauce extract
Anything “protein fortified”
(1) 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.
The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:
Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
Brown rice syrup
Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
most things low fat or no fat
anything Vitamin enriched
(2) E numbers are use in Europe in place of food additive names.
The following work synergistically with MSG to enhance flavor. If they are present for flavoring, so is MSG.
Disodium 5’-guanylate (E 627)
Disodium 5’-inosinate (E-631)
Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides (E 635)
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, found in neotame, aspartame (NutraSweet), and AminoSweet, ordinarily causes MSG type reactions in MSG sensitive people. (It would appear that calling aspartame “AminoSweet” is industry’s method of choice for hiding aspartame.) We have not seen Neotame used widely in the United States.
Aspartame will be found in some medications, including children’s medications. For questions about the ingredients in pharmaceuticals, check with your pharmacist and/or read the product inserts for the names of “other” or “inert” ingredients.
Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG.
According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin, both of which contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) which causes brain lesions in young laboratory animals, and causes endocrine disturbances like OBESITY and REPRODUCTIVE disorders later in life. It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain some ingredient(s) that contains MSG.
Reactions to MSG are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts. MSG-induced reactions may occur immediately after ingestion or after as much as 48 hours. The time lapse between ingestion and reaction is typically the same each time for a particular individual who ingests an amount of MSG that exceeds his or her individual tolerance level.
Remember: By food industry definition, all MSG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” doesn’t mean “safe.” “Natural” only means that the ingredient started out in nature, like arsenic and hydrochloric acid.
Information provided by the Truth in Labeling Campaign
Hidden Names for MSG
The following substances contain the highest percentage of factory created free glutamate, with MSG containing 78%:
|Monosodium glutamate||Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)||Textured Protein|
|Monopotassium glutamate||Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)||Yeast Extract|
|Glutamate||Autolyzed Plant Protein||Yeast food or nutrient|
|Glutamic Acid||Sodium Caseinate||Autolyzed Yeast|
|Vegetable Protein Extract||Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)|
The following substances contain some factory created free glutamate in varying amounts. Please note that some food labels list several of these items, which can add up to a considerable and dangerous amount in one product:
|Malted Barley (flavor)||Natural Flavors, Flavors, Flavoring||Modified food starch|
|Barley malt||Reaction Flavors||Rice syrup or brown rice syrup|
|Malt Extract or Flavoring||Natural Chicken, Beef, or Pork, Flavoring “Seasonings” (Most assume this means salt, pepper, or spices and herbs, which sometimes it is.)||Lipolyzed butter fat|
|Maltodextrin, dextrose, dextrates||Soy Sauce or Extract||“Low” or “No Fat” items|
|Caramel Flavoring (coloring)||Soy Protein||Corn syrup and corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup|
|Stock||Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate||Citric Acid (when processed from corn)|
|Broth||Cornstarch fructose (made from corn)||Milk Powder|
|Bouillon||Flowing Agents||Dry Milk Solids|
|Carrageenan||Wheat, rice, corn, or oat protein||Protein Fortified Milk|
|Whey Protein or Whey||Anything enriched or vitamin enriched||Annatto|
|Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate||Protein fortified “anything”||Spice|
|Pectin||Enzyme modified proteins||Gums (guar and vegetable)|
|Protease||Ultra-pasteurized dairy products||Dough Conditioners|
|Protease enzymes||Fermented proteins||Yeast Nutrients|
|Lecithin||Gluten and gluten flour||Protein powders: whey, soy, oat, rice (as in protein bars shakes and body building drinks)|
|Amino acids (as in Bragg’s liquid amino acids and chelated to vitamins)||Algae, phytoplankton, sea vegetable, wheat/ barley grass powders|
European numbers for glutamate containing additives:
The book, Battling the MSG Myth, will simplify your life by giving in depth facts about these hidden substances and the common foods in which they are found. Find tips on label reading, shopping, and cooking. Enjoy good eating by learning how to avoid all the common foods and supplements that contain MSG, aspartame, L-cysteine, and sulfites. Learn how to substitute healthy alternative products that can be found in most supermarkets.
Battling the MSG Myth: http://www.msgmyth.com/
Code of federal regulations on High fructose Corn Syrup
Subpart B–Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS
|Sec. 184.1866 High fructose corn syrup.|
|(a) High fructose corn syrup, a sweet, nutritive saccharide mixture containing either approximately 42 or 55 percent fructose, is prepared as a clear aqueous solution from high dextrose-equivalent corn starch hydrolysate by partial enzymatic conversion of glucose (dextrose) to fructose using an insoluble glucose isomerase enzyme preparation described in 184.1372. The product containing more than 50 percent fructose (dry weight) is prepared through concentration of the fructose portion of the mixture containing less than 50 percent fructose.(b) The ingredient shall conform to the identity and specifications listed in the monograph entitled “High-Fructose Corn Syrup” in the Food Chemicals Codex, 4th ed. (1996), pp. 191-192, which is incorporated by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies are available from the Office of Premarket Approval, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-200), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, or may be examined at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Library, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to:http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.(c) In accordance with 184.1(b)(1), the ingredient is used in food with no limitation other than current good manufacturing practice.|
[61 FR 43450, Aug.23, 1996]