HIDDEN SOURCES OF PROCESSED FREE GLUTAMIC ACID ( MSG): ADDENDUM

 Compiled by the Truth in Labeling Campaign
850 N. DeWitt Place, Chicago, IL  60611      858-481-9333     http://www.truthinlabeling.org

MSG-sensitive people react to the free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture or fermentation, and refer to it as MSG. Ingredients known to contain enough MSG to serve as common MSG-reaction triggers are listed on our Web page entitled "Sources of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG)." This "Addendum" lists only those ingredients known, or suspected, of containing lesser amounts of MSG. This Addendum will be helpful to those who have little tolerance for MSG. It has been compiled from reports of MSG-sensitive people and discussions with food technologists.

The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient MSG to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in highly sensitive people:  

Rice syrup
Brown rice syrup
Corn starch
Corn syrup
Dextrose

Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
Milk powder
anything "Basted"
anything Protein fortified

Reduced fat milk (e.g., skim milk; 1% milk; 2% milk
anything Enriched or Vitamin enriched
anything Ultra-pasteurized
most things Low fat or No fat
any ingredient or product that is Fermented

 

Hidden MSG is not limited to use in food: 

Reactions have been reported to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics. The most common hiding places are in ingredients that begin with the word "hydrolyzed" and in ingredients described as "protein," "amino acids," or “chelated with amino acids”.

Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are relatively expensive food additives that work synergistically with inexpensive MSG. They would probably not be used if there were no MSG present.

Binders, fillers, and/or carriers (used in "enriched" products, for example), and flowing agents, may contain MSG, but are not always mentioned on labels. In pharmaceuticals, these ingredients are usually listed in product inserts under "inert ingredients" or “other ingredients”.

The food ingredient "monosodium glutamate" should not be found in, or on, products labeled "organic". However, MSG-containing ingredients such as autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, and citric acid are found in some "organic" products; and "hydrolyzed" ingredients are being used in some "organic" fertilizers. "Organic" does not mean free of MSG.

MSG-type reactions have been reported following ingestion of fish, seafood, and poultry, rinsed with phosphates. (Phosphates do not contain MSG.) A phosphate rinse for meat is also available. Rinses are not mentioned on food labels.

There have been some reports of reactions to some sugar, some salt, and to meat that has been wrapped in cryovac (a thick, viscous plastic). 

Just as poultry can be "basted" with an MSG-containing substance, meat can be injected with MSG. Some restaurants use basted steaks. 

When "broth" is sold as "broth," its ingredients must be listed on its label. However, when "broth" (or any other product) is used as an ingredient in something else, the ingredients of that broth or other product do not have to be disclosed. 

Salad mix and prewashed vegetables may have been rinsed with citric acid. 

MSG has been found in wax used on some raw (non-organic) produce.

Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are also potential sources of hidden MSG. Also, aspartic acid, found in aspartame (NutraSweet, AminoSweet, Neotame, Equal) may cause MSG type reactions in MSG-sensitive people, depending on their tolerance levels. Aspartame is found in some medications, including children’s medications, and most chewing gums.

Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, protein drinks and powders, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals may contain MSG. 

Many multi-vitamins include minerals that are chelated with an amino acid.  This is also true of individual minerals.  Avoid minerals with names that include the words glutamate, aspartate, or citrate.  Also avoid minerals with names that include a parenthesis or footnote which the words “amino acid chelate”, “aminoate complex”, “chelated with a protein”, or “chelated with a hydrolyzed protein”. 

Chicken Pox vaccine and other vaccines contain MSG, most often in hidden forms. 

Reactions have been reported to produce fertilized or sprayed with MSG.