Glutamic Acid is one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids found naturally in many fruit and vegetables.

MSG – Monosodium Glutamate is the chemically produced sodium salt of naturally occurring Glutamic Acid. It has the food additive code 621 and is extensively used in processed food & beverages as a flavour enhancer.

Symptoms can occur together such as, headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, itching, hives, sweating, asthma, chest pains and more. Reactions can be immediate or delayed up to 12 hours depending on the person, their tolerance levels and how much has been consumed.

Below is a list of foods that contain Natural Glutamates:

  • Tomatoes – fresh, tinned, bottled, paste, sauce etc
  • Cheese
  • Grapes – Raisins, Sultanas
  • Wines, Port, Sherry, Liquor, Claret
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Whey Proteins
  • Dried Yeast
  • Vegetable Yeast and Meat Extracts (Marmite, Vegemite, Bovril, Fish & Meat Stock Cubes and Stock)
  • Soy Sauce, Tamari, Miso, Tempeh

There are many artificial Glutamates that appear under different names and guises.

The additive code for ‘glutamates’ appear as numbers 620-625.

The following list of names ALWAYS contain MSG


Glutamic Acid


Monosodium Glutamate

Calcium Caseinate

Textured Protein

Monopotassium Glutamate

Sodium Caseinate

Yeast Nutrient

Yeast Extract

Yeast Food

Autolyzed Yeast

Hydrolyzed Protein

Any protein that has been ‘hydrolyzed’

Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten

Natrium Glutamate

(Natrium is Latin for Sodium)

MSG is often ‘hidden’ / not listed in the ingredients – often just listed as ‘Flavouring’.

Legally, if it is under a certain percentage, it doesn’t have to be listed.

  • Processed Meats – pies, sausages, salami, frankfurts, saveloys, bacon
  • Tinned meats – stew, meat & vegetables
  • Tinned or Packet soups
  • Gravy powder & stock cubes – Bisto, Gravox
  • Savoury foods – crisps, crackers, rice crackers/cakes, biscuits
  • Asian sauces – soy, oyster, fish


MSG sensitive people react to the free glutamic acid that occurs as a consequence of fermentation and/or manufacture.

The following OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing that can cause reactions to HIGHLY SENSITIVE people.

Natural Flavouring

Wheat Protein

Citric Acid (Citrate)

Anything Flavouring

Whey Protein



Soy Protein

Corn Syrup or corn starch


Soy Sauce or soy sauce extract

Modified food starch

Malt Extract /Maltodextrin

Pea Protein

Protease or Protease Enzymes

Barley Malt

Anything protein fortified

Enzymes anything


Reduced Fat Milk – skim milk

Anything fermented

Rice Syrup, brown rice syrup

Most things low or no fat

Anything Enriched or Vitamin Enriched

Aspartame sweetener -(Aspartic acid /Aspartate)

Anything Ultra-Pasteurized


SLOW COOKER / CROCK POT cooking also gives those who are highly sensitive an MSG-like reaction. The extended cooking time tends to break down protein into individual amino acids.

TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE is a common food additive (and alkaline detergent) found in highly processed foods – . It is also used in low concentrations as a bacterial sterilizer /dip on fresh meat, poultry and fish. It’s also often added to meat and seafood products like bacon, sausage, lunch meat and canned tuna to help retain moisture, increase shelf life and prevent spoilage.

ASPARTAME works on the body in the same manner as processed free glutamic acid (MSG). The sweetener NEOTAME is a reformulated aspartame and should also be avoided.

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