Many people are seeking to avoid free glutamate in their diets. That is a challenge, as there are many common ingredients that contain (or in some cases simply rename) glutamate, but it can be done. If this is your quest, take heart: it tends to lead toward a healthy whole-food diet.
And here’s the list.
- Glutamic acid (E 620) (MSG is a crystalline salt of glutamic acid.)
- Glutamate (E 620), monosodium glutamate (E 621) or “MSG”, monopotassium glutamate (E 622), calcium glutamate (E 623), monoammonium glutamate (E 624), magnesium glutamate (E 625), natrium glutamate
- Yeast extract
- Anything “hydrolyzed”
- Any “hydrolyzed protein”
- Calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate
- Yeast food, yeast nutrient
- Autolyzed yeast
- Textured protein
- Soy protein, soy protein concentrate. soy protein isolate
- Whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
- Carrageenan (E 407)
- Bouillon and broth
- Any “flavors” or “flavoring”, i.e. natural flavors, raspberry flavor, vanilla flavor, etc. This even applies to ingredients labeled “organic”, such as “organic natural flavors” or “organic raspberry flavor”.
- Citric acid, citrate (E 330)
- Any protein that is “ultra-pasteurized”
- Pectin (E 440)
- Anything “enzyme modified”
- Anything containing “enzymes”
- Malt extract, barley malt (including organic). Beer definitely packs a lot of glutamate.
- Milk powder
- Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
- Most things low-fat or no-fat
- Soy sauce, soy sauce extract
- Anything “protein fortified”
- Any protein that has been “fermented”
- Spices (you read that right, “spices”. And “organic spices”.)
- Corn starch
- Corn syrup
- Modified food starch
- Lipolyzed butterfat
- Rice syrup, brown rice syrup (including organic)
- Anything enriched
- Vitamin enriched
- Xanthan gum
It doesn’t appear on ingredients labels, but AuxiGro®, sprayed on some conventional fruits and vegetables, contains 29% glutamic acid. (MSG is a crystalline salt of glutamic acid.)
We have noted some ingredients that confuse people when they are marked organic, but anything on this list that is labeled “organic” still carries the same free glutamate.
This is a big project.
You’re bound to have questions and difficulties along the way. Please drop a note in the comments or via email if you would like to discuss it.
Credit: this list is derived from the one offered by Dr. Katherine Reid at Unblind My Mind. We highly recommend everyone interested in glutamate information follow Dr. Reid’s excellent work.