The hidden harmful ingredient – Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

The hidden harmful ingredient - Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Commercial advantages of Monosodium Glutamate or MSG use to food industry includes enhanced food flavour, making processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, more tasty salad dressings, and less tinny canned foods. MSG has found its way into many products such as canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners, local supermarket and restaurants, in school cafeteria and, amazingly, even in baby food and infant formula. Another ingredient which is just another name for MSG is Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.

In the American context, some examples of foods containing MSG include Campbell’s soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavoured potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the ‘healthy low fat’ ones. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, TGIF, Chilis’, Applebees and Denny’s use MSG in abundance.

Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid: Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid during processing
Glutamate (E620)

Monosodium glutamate (E621)

Monopotassium glutamate (E622)

Calcium glutamate (E623)

Monoammonium glutamate (E624)

Magnesium glutamate (E625)

Natrium glutamate

Calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate


Hydrolysed protein

Textured vegetable protein

Whey protein

Soy protein

Soy sauce

Soy sauce extract



Carrageenan (E407)

Any flavours and flavourings

Bullion & broth



Citric acid, citrate

Barley malt

Pectin (E440)


Anything ultra-pasteurized

Malt extract

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


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