Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's in the kitchen: monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Even if there's no ingredient listed on the nutrition label with the name "monosodium glutamate," the product will still always contain monosodium glutamate (free glutamic acid) if it has:
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Glutamic acid (E 620)
  • Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
  • Natrium glutamate
  • Gelatin
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Textured protein
  • anything "hydrolyzed"
  • any hydrolyzed protein
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Yeast extract
  • Yeast food
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Vetsin or
  • Ajinomoto
So, what's in my kitchen (with absolute certainty) of monosodium glutamate? Take a look:
Summary of MSG Ingredients (*ingredients in parentheses OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing):

-whipped topping
less than 2% sodium caseinate.
(less than 2% natural and artificial flavor, Xanthan and guar gums)
also contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, HFCS

-Family Canning Vanilla Pudding
sodium caseinate.
(maltodextrin, dextrose, soy lecithin, natural and artificial colors, xanthan gum)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil

-Family Canning Chocolate Pudding
sodium caseinate.
also contains hydrogenated soybean oil, blue 1

-Family Canning Hot Cocoa
sodium caseinate.
(lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil

-Stuffing Mix
hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, monosodium glutamate.
(dough conditioner, maltodextrin, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil, BHT

-Add Hamburger Lasagna
autolyzed yeast extract.
(enzymes, soy lecithin, natural flavors)
"No Artificial Ingredients or Preservatives. NO MSG Added."

-Red Beans and Rice Mix
yeast extract.
(malted barley flour, soy sauce, dextrose, natural and artificial flavors)

-Ranch Dressing

monosodium glutamate.
(less than 1% natural flavors, Xanthan gum, natural and artificial flavor, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate)

-Horseradish sauce
hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast.
(Xanthan gum, artificial and natural flavors, citric acid)
also contains HFCS

-White Gravy Mix
hydrolyzed corn gluten and soy protein.
(disodium inosinate and guanylate)
also contains partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soy oil

-Onion soup mix
hydrolyzed soy protein, monosodium glutamate.
(maltodextrin, yeast extract, natural flavors, disodium inosinate and guanylate)
also contains partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil


-Chicken Bouillon
hydrolyzed corn protein, autolyzed yeast extract.
(disodium inosinate and disodium gunaylate)
also contains partially hydrogenated soy oil "No MSG Added (Contains naturally occuring glutamates)"

-Beef Bouillon
hydrolyzed soy protein, monosodium glutamate.
(natural flavors)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil

-Seasoned Bread crumbs
monosodium glutamate.
(soy lecithin)
also contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening

-Turkey gravy mix
monosodium glutamate.
natural and artificial flavors

-Au Jus mix
hydrolyzed soy protein and corn gluten, autolyzed yeast extract.
(disodium guanylate, maltodextrin, dextrose, natural and artificial flavors, disodium inosinate)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil

-Hollandiase mix
hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast extract.
(maltodextrin, dextrose, citric acid, cellulose gum, disodium inosinate)

-Alfredo sauce mix
sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast extract.
(soy lecithin, dextrose, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate)
also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil

-sugar free gelatin
also contains aspartame

-Top Ramen seasoning mix
hydrolyzed soy, corn and wheat protein, monosdium glutamate, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed wheat gluten.
(maltodextrin, soy sauce powder, disodium guanylate and inosinate)

-canned Chili
2% or less textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed corn protein, hydrolyzed soy protein.
(2% or less flavorings, citric acid)

-Vegetable with beef stock soup
less than 2% monsodium glutamate, hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat proteins.
(dextrose, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, citric acid)
also contains high fructose corn syrup

-cream of chicken
less than 2% hydrolyzed soy, corn, wheat gluten proteins, autolyzed yeast, natural flavor, monosodium glutamate, autolyzed yeast extract.
(broth, less than 2% soy protein concentrate, disodium inosinate and guanylate, dextrose)

-cream of celery
soy protein concentrate, monosodium glutamate, autolyzed yeast extract.
(dextrose, maltodextrin, natural flavlor, soy lecithin)

-Chicken Noodle
less than 2% hydrolyzed corn and soy proteins, yeast extract.
(less than 2% soy protein isolate, soy lecithin)
"No MSG Added"

-Fish crackers
less than 2% autolyzed yeast extract.
also contains less than 2% red 3, blue 1

-Reduced sodium chicken gumbo
less than 1% corn and soy proteins (hydrolyzed), yeast extract.
(chicken broth, less than 1% natural flavor, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, soy protein isolate, citric acid)
"No MSG Added"

-Savory beef barley vegetable soup
less than 2% corn and soy proteins (hydrolyzed), yeast extract.
(citric acid, natural flavor)
"No MSG Added"

also contains food dyes

-Cup of noodles
monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy, corn and wheat protein, autolyzed yeast extract.
(maltodextrin, citric acid, natural flavors, disodium guanylate, disodium isonate)

Furthermore, the following ingredients OFTEN contain free glutamic acid or create MSG during processing:

whey protein concentrate
soy sauce



citric acid
  • Natural pork flavoring
  • Bouillon and Broth
  • Natural beef flavoring
  • Stock
  • Whey protein
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Flavor(s) & Flavoring(s)
  • Natural flavor(s) & flavoring(s)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Natural chicken flavoring
  • Ultra-pasteurized
  • Barley malt
  • Protease
  • Protease enzymes
  • Anything enzyme modified
  • Enzymes anything
  • Malt extract
  • Malt flavoring
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Anything protein fortified
  • Anything fermented
  • Seasonings (the word "seasonings")

Get a printable list of MSG foods to avoid here.

Finally, here's an appendix with even more ingredients that contain lower doses of MSG.

(*You will note there are lots of cans of tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes in the photo above. I read recently in the book "Battling the MSG Myth" (see my bookshelf in my widgets) that Muir Glen products are free of any adverse affects in glutamate sensitive people)

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