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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.

  1. Glutamic acid (E 620) (MSG is a crystalline salt of glutamic acid.)
  2. 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
  3. Yeast extract
  4. Anything “hydrolyzed”
  5. Any “hydrolyzed protein”
  6. Calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate
  7. Yeast food, yeast nutrient
  8. Autolyzed yeast
  9. Gelatin
  10. Textured protein
  11. Soy protein, soy protein concentrate. soy protein isolate
  12. Whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
  13. Vetsin
  14. Carrageenan (E 407)
  15. Bouillon and broth
  16. Stock
  17. 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”.
  18. Maltodextrin
  19. Citric acid, citrate (E 330)
  20. Any protein that is “ultra-pasteurized”
  21. Pectin (E 440)
  22. Protease
  23. Anything “enzyme modified”
  24. Anything containing “enzymes”
  25. Malt extract, barley malt (including organic). Beer definitely packs a lot of glutamate.
  26. Milk powder
  27. Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
  28. Most things low-fat or no-fat
  29. Soy sauce, soy sauce extract
  30. Anything “protein fortified”
  31. Any protein that has been “fermented”
  32. Spices (you read that right, “spices”. And “organic spices”.)
  33. Seasonings
  34. Corn starch
  35. Corn syrup
  36. Modified food starch
  37. Lipolyzed butterfat
  38. Dextrose
  39. Rice syrup, brown rice syrup (including organic)
  40. Anything enriched
  41. Vitamin enriched
  42. 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.

Image credit: psd / CC-BY-2.0