MSG what is it?


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what is it?
MSG- monosodium glutamate
the dictionary calls it a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder.

what does it do?
it is used to intensify the flavour of foods

where is it commonly found?
"MSG is listed on the label only if it is a separate ingredient in the food. In most cases, MSG is hidden by including it as part of other ingredients on the label. It can make up as much as 60% of these other ingredients."

Additives that always contain MSG:

  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Potassium Glutamate
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)*
  • Hydrolyzed Protein*
  • Hydrolyzed Plant Protein*
  • Hydrolyzed [Anything else]*
  • Plant Protein Extract
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Textured Protein
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Additives that frequently contain MSG*:
  • Malt extract
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Stock
  • Flavoring
  • Natural Flavoring
  • Natural Beef or Chiken Flavoring
  • Seasoning
  • Spices
* Often have between 30% and 60% MSG when it is added.
source: http://www.holisticmed.com/msg/msg-mark.txt
another list is: http://www.foodsafety.org/il/il108.htm

what known dangers are there?
the primary concern of many websites is MSG sensitivity.

"MSG sensitivity is a sensitivity to free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture. All protein contains glutamic acid bound in it, but only when glutamic acid has been freed from protein prior to ingestion do people express MSG- sensitivity reactions." http://www.holisticmed.com/msg/msg-basics.txt

a big indicator appears to be headaches headaches. other various reactions include cardiac, circulatory, muscular, and neurological problems, to name a few. for a more complete list, check here

is it necessary?
it doesn't appear to be entirely clear. what is clear, though, is that it isn't going away anytime soon.

history
the MSG history goes back a ways, the Maryland chapter of No MSG has a short, interesting history page on it.

a few websites
Truth In Labeling
"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about MSG"

Holistic Medicine
"A non-industry/FDA viewpoint"

No MSG
"the home page for NoMSG, the National Organization Mobilized to Stop Glutamate! The NoMSG mission is to educate consumers regarding the dangers of Monosodium Glutamate and the ways in which it is hidden; to encourage MSG-free products; to support MSG sensitive individuals; and, to promote independent MSG research."

No MSG, Maryland Chapter

National Food Safety Database
a factually cautious page on MSG


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