The Truth in Labeling Campaign


What is free glutamate?

How is it fabricated?

What roles does it play?


Ingredient names used to hide free glutamate

Where is free glutamate hidden in food?

Adverse reactions it is known for

Recognizing adverse reactions

Evidence for brain damage

Abnormalities associated with glutamate-induced brain damage

History of the Jekyll and Hyde amino acid

Truth in Labeling Campaign> Chemical Poisons> Ingredient names used to hide free glutamate 

Words of wisdom

Glutamate found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions.

To cause adverse reactions, the glutamate must have been processed/manufactured, released from protein during processing, or come from protein that has been fermented.

E numbers are used in Europe in place of food additive names.

Names of ingredients that always contain free glutamate:

Glutamic acid (E 620)
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
anything “Hydrolyzed”
any “Hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
Yeast extract, Torula yeast
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient, Nutritional yeast
Autolyzed yeast, Brewer's yeast
Textured protein
Whey protein
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Soy protein
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
anything “Protein”
anything “Protein fortified”
anything "Protein concentrate"
anything "Protein isolate"
Zinc proteninate
anything "Proteninate"
Soy sauce
Soy sauce extract
anything “Enzyme modified”
anything containing “Enzymes”
anything “Fermented”

Names of ingredients that often contain or produce free glutamate during processing:

Carrageenan (E 407)
Bouillon and broth
any “Flavors” or “flavoring”
Natural flavor
Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
anything “Ultra-pasteurized”
Barley malt
Malted barley
Pectin (E 440)
Malt extract
Soy milk

The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient free glutamate to serve as 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”
anything “Pasteurized”
Balsamic vinegar
certain Amino Acid Chelates (Citrate, Aspartate, and Glutamate are used as chelating agents with mineral supplements.)

The following work synergistically with free glutamate to enhance flavor. If they are present for flavoring, so is free glutamate:

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 free glutamate and many dairy products contain carrageenan, guar gum, and/or locust bean gum. Low fat and no fat ice cream and cheese may not obviously contain free glutamate as yogurt, milk, cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc., but they are not exceptions.

Protein powders contain free glutamate. Individual amino acids are not always listed on labels of protein powders.

If you see the word “protein” in an ingredient label, the product contains free glutamate.

At one time there was to be 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 was unprocessed, 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 manufactured free glutamate is present.

Not all “plant-based” ingredients contain free glutamate, but many do. Ingredients identified as “plant-based proteins” (such as the Impossible Burger, Beyond Meat and Just EGG) are made with excitotoxic – brain damaging – free glutamate. Free glutamate made from plants (soy or mung beans, for example) causes brain damage and adverse reaction just like any other source of free glutamate.

Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are relatively expensive food additives that work synergistically with inexpensive free glutamate. Their use suggests that the product has free glutamate in it. They would probably not be used as food additives if there were no free glutamate present.

Reactions have been reported from soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where free glutamate 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 free glutamate.

Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of free glutamate and/or aspartame, neotame. and AminoSweet (a relatively new name for aspartame). Aspartic acid, found in neotame, aspartame (NutraSweet), and AminoSweet, ordinarily causes reactions in glutamate 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.

Aspartic acid is an excitotoxic amino acid just as glutamic acid is.

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 free glutamate.

According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains (or contained) L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin, both of which contain free glutamate 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 free glutamate.

According to the CDC, as listed in its Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary (Appendix B of the “Pink Book”), there are more than 35 vaccines presently in use that obviously contain ingredients that contain free glutamate.

When ingested, reactions to free glutamate are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts. Glutamate-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 free glutamate that exceeds his or her individual tolerance level.

Remember: By food industry definition, all free glutamate is "naturally occurring." "Natural" doesn't mean "safe." "Natural" only means that the ingredient started out in nature like arsenic and hydrochloric acid.

This list was compiled by Jack and Adrienne Samuels. It is updated periodically if called for.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about MSG and manufactured free glutamate