MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: May I have a list of all the names used for MSG in food ingredients?

Date: Mon Nov 28 03:44:04 2005
Posted By: Levy Pascua, Grad student, food science, bakery industry
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1131903537.Ch

Dear Gail,

Sorry for the late reply but I hope my answer will be satisfactory. MSG is an acronym for Monosodium Glutamate. It is a flavor enhancer which has been used to bring out the best flavor of foods. Its principal component is an amino acid called glutamic acid or glutamate. Glutamate is found naturally in protein-containing foods such as meat, vegetables, poultry and milk. The human body produces glutamate naturally in large amounts. Human milk is rich in glutamate compared to cow's milk. Glutamate is found in two forms bound glutamate and free glutamate. Only the latter is effective in enhancing the flavor of food. Foods often used for their flavoring qualities, such as tomatoes and mushrooms, have high levels of naturally occuring free glutamate.

Foods ALWAYS contain MSG when the following words are on the label. MSG, monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, autolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food & autolyzed yeast.

Reference: The Glutamate Association

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