MSG, By Any Other Name

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2005

The food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) is now used in an alarmingly wide variety of processed foods. MSG has a bad reputation for more than just inducing "Chinese food headache."  IMHO, it is nasty stuff and should be avoided.  But that is difficult these days because food processors hide it by applying umpteen clever nom de guerres.  These can include:

Autolyzed yeast,
Barley malt,
Broth,
Bouillon,
Calcium caseinate,
Carrageen or carrageenan,
Enzyme modified,
Fermented,
Flavoring,
Natural flavoring,
Gelatin,
Glutamates,
Hydrolyzed oat flour,
Hydrolyzed protein,
Hydrolyzed vegetable,
Malt extract,
Maltodextrin,
Natural flavors,
Pectin,
Plant protein extract or extracts,
Potassium glutamate,
Protein fortified,
Protein isolates,
Sodium caseinate,
Soy protein or soy protein isolates
Soy sauce,
Stock,
Teriyaki sauce,
Textured protein,
TVP,
Ultra pasteurized,
Whey protein,
Yeast extract,
Yeast food.

(Special thanks to the authors of  The Carbohydrate Addicts' Official FAQ on Monosodium Glutamate. See: http://www.carbohydrateaddicts.com/msg.html )

I don't go so far as to recommend that you go on a MSG "witch hunt" in your pantry.  Rather, just be more aware and look at labels carefully whenever you are re-stocking.


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