Friday, February 22, 2008

fact that there is MSG

Manufacturers hide the fact that there is MSG in their products.

If you want information from them, you must understand their deceptive tactics.

First you must understand the difference between "monosodium glutamate" and MSG

1) MSG is the acronym used to identify processed free glutamic acid, i.e., the form of glutamic acid that causes adverse reactions in MSG-sensitive people when they ingest amounts of MSG that exceed their tolerance levels. Processed free glutamic acid is glutamic aid that has been freed from protein through a manufacturing process or through fermentation.

MSG is produced through fermentation or is made in manufacturing and chemical plants a) using acids, enzymes, or bacteria to break down protein into its constituent amino acids, or b) through bacterial fermentation wherein selected strains of genetically modified bacteria are fed selected nutrients which cause them to secrete glutamic acid through their cell walls. As is the case with all processed/ manufactured free glutamic acid, unwanted materials ("contaminants") are produced along with the desired free glutamic acid. The particular contaminants differ depending on the starting materials and the procedures used to produce the glutamic acid.

Any ingredient that contains protein as well as acids or enzymes, or any protein product that has been fermented, will very likely contain MSG. Breaking down protein into its constituent amino acids by combining acids or enzymes with protein is called hydrolysis or autolysis. Even "a little" protein combined with acids or enzymes will create MSG. When ingredients such as citric acid, maltodextrin, and dextrose are made from a protein containing source such as corn, manufacturers do not take the time nor undertake the expense of removing all protein; and the remaining protein, combined with acids or enzymes, will be broken down during production, resulting in some MSG.

2) Monosodium glutamate is the name on one specific ingredient made up of processed free glutamic acid, sodium, moisture, and contaminants. Given that it invariable contains processed free glutamic acid, monosodium glutamate invariably contains MSG. There are other ingredients besides monosodium glutamate that contain MSG, but monosodium glutamate is the only one of over 40 other MSG-containing ingredients with an ingredient name that suggests that the ingredient contains MSG.

Second, to have any chance of getting honest answers to your questions about MSG you must choose your words, and phrase your questions, carefully.

1) When questioning a food company regarding MSG, never ask if the product contains MSG. That's because to some people in the food industry, "MSG" stands only for the food ingredient monosodium glutamate; while to other people "MSG" stands for processed free glutamic acid in any ingredient or in any form (a fact acknowledged by the FDA). Food companies often wrongly assume (or pretend to assume) that the acronym "MSG" only applies to the food ingredient "monosodium glutamate." So they may tell you that their product contains no monosodium glutamate while it actually contains processed free glutamic acid in ingredients other than monosodium glutamate. In other words, they might respond to your question about "MSG" saying that the product is totally MSG free, even when it contains processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

2) When questioning a food company about processed free glutamic acid in their product, ask if the product contains any "free glutamic acid." It will be more difficult for a company to respond inappropriately to this question, although in some cases they avoid responding appropriately. Sometime a company admits to the presence of free glutamic acid in their product(s) but may attempt to convince consumers that their free glutamic acid is "naturally" occurring and, therefore, "safe." No matter how "natural" is defined by a food company, the MSG in a product is never "safe" for an MSG-sensitive individual.

3) If you are not satisfied with a response that you receive from a company regarding processed free glutamic acid, ask if they have had, or would have, their product(s) tested for free amino acids. An assay of free amino acids will tell you how much free glutamic acid (and, therefore, approximately how much MSG) there is in the product in question. Ask that they send you a copy of the amino acid assay results.

Autolyzed, hydrolyzed, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed, autolyzed
The MSG-reaction is a reaction to free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture. MSG-sensitive people do not react to protein (which contains bound glutamic acid) or any of the minute amounts of free glutamic acid that might be found in unadulterated, unfermented, food.
These ALWAYS contain MSG

Glutamate Glutamic acid Gelatin
Monosodium glutamate Calcium caseinate Textured protein
Monopotassium glutamate Sodium caseinate Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract Yeast food Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolyzed protein
(any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed corn gluten Natrium glutamate
(natrium is Latin/German for sodium)

These OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing

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


The new game is to label hydrolyzed proteins as pea protein, whey protein, corn protein, etc. If a pea, for example, were whole, it would be identified as a pea. Calling an ingredient pea protein indicates that the pea has been hydrolyzed, at least in part, and that processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is present. Relatively new to the list are wheat protein and soy protein.

Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are 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 to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients that include the words "hydrolyzed," "amino acids," and "protein."

Low fat and no fat milk products often include milk solids that contain MSG.

Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MSG and of aspartame and neotame. Aspartic acid, found in neotame and aspartame (NutraSweet), ordinarily causes MSG type reactions in MSG sensitive people. Aspartame is found in some medications, including children's medications. Neotame is relatively new and we have not yet seen it used widely. Check with your pharmacist.

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 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.

Note: There are additional ingredients that appear to cause MSG reactions in ACUTELY sensitive people. A list is available by request.

Remember: By FDA definition, all MSG is "naturally occurring." "Natural" doesn't mean "safe." "Natural" only means that the ingredient started out in nature.

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