MSG: The Darth Vader of Food Additives

WARNING:  MSG is being disguised by sneaky food manufacturers and they know that consumers are starting to discern and dissect labels and are looking out for “MSG”!

Check and recheck Ingredients on Labels of human food packaging and pet food packaging!

As a result, they are changing the wording on the labels in order to hide their harmful yet (can’t make it taste good without) msg!

How do they do this? By using names that you would never associate with MSG.

Basically, FDA requires food manufacturers to list the ingredient “monosodium glutamate” on food labels, but they do not have to label ingredients that contain free glutamic acid, even though it’s the main component of MSG.

There are over 40 labelled ingredients that contain glutamic acid, but you wouldn’t realise because the words are different. So don’t be fooled!

What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive used as a flavour enhancer, especially in Chinese foods. It is labelled as the E-number E621. It is produced from molasses and other vegetable sources by fermentation of bacteria.

Side Effects / Adverse Reactions of Glutamic Acid or MSG in People or Pets

  • Skin allergies/itchiness/rash eg eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, rosacea

  • Asthma, wheezing, restricted breathing and raspiness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhoea & stomach cramps

  • Flushing of the skin and a rise in temperature

  • Headaches

  • Heart palpitations and/or chest pain

  • Numbness, tingling or burning


Glutamic Acid as a Food Additive – Look for the “E numbers”

Glutamic acid and its salts can be added to foods as flavour enhancers that give foods a umami taste (savoury taste called “the fifth taste”):

  • Glutamic acid (in the European Union labelled as the E-number E620). It can be obtained by bacterial fermentation of molasses, gluten, soy protein or other vegetable proteins.

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (E621)

  • Potassium glutamate (E622)

  • Calcium diglutamate (E623)

  • Mono-ammonium glutamate (E624)

  • Magnesium diglutamate (E625)

Tips for Leaving MSG Out

If a food is processed you can assume it contains MSG (or one of its pseudo-ingredients).

So if you stick to a whole, fresh foods diet, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll avoid this toxin.

The other place where you’ll need to watch out for MSG is in restaurants. You can ask your server which menu items are MSG-free, and request that no MSG be added to your meal, but of course, the only place where you can be entirely sure of what’s added to your food is in your own kitchen.


  • Autolyzed Yeast

  • Calcium Caseinate

  • Gelatin

  • Glutamate

  • Glutamic Acid

  • Hydrolyzed Protein

  • Monopotassium Glutamate

  • Monosodium Glutamate

  • Sodium Caseinate

  • Textured Protein

  • Yeast Extract

  • Yeast Food

  • Yeast Nutrient

  • Flavours and Flavourings

  • Seasonings

  • Natural Flavours and Flavourings

  • Natural Pork Flavouring

  • Natural Beef Flavouring

  • Natural Chicken Flavouring

  • Soy Sauce

  • Soy Protein Isolate

  • Soy Protein

  • Bouillon

  • Stock

  • Broth

  • Malt Extract

  • Malt Flavouring

  • Barley Malt

  • Carrageenan

  • Maltodextrin

  • Pectin

  • Corn Starch

  • Citric Acid

  • Powdered Milk

  • Anything Protein-Fortified

  • Anything Ultra-Pasteurized

Choose to be Free from the Darth Vader of Food Additives – MSG

Making a decision to avoid MSG in your diet as much as possible is a wise choice for nearly everyone. Admittedly, it does take a bit more planning and time in the kitchen to prepare food at home, using fresh, locally grown ingredients. But knowing that your food is pure and free of toxic additives like MSG will make it well worth it.

Strikeout MSG and it’s friend glutamic acid…all the “E + numbers” and instead, choose whole foods that will ultimately give you tastier flavour and greater health than any MSG-laden processed food you could buy at your supermarket.

 Read More: How to treat your Dog with skin allergies

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I'm an Australian Naturopath and Contemporary Artist, I share my mission to inspire great health and encourage creativity. With over 20 years of experience writing books and media articles on a wide range of natural health subjects and forms of treatments - my motto is "Living in two worlds through transformation, love and creativity".


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