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Monsodium Glutamate and the FDA
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An exception to the hydrolyzed rule?
by N J Howell
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As someone who is very sensitive to msg or free glutamic acid of any substantial amount in any product, I've done a great deal of research
into hidden sources of monosodium glutamate in foods, health supplements and other products. According to almost every document, book reference or website I've
researched, ANYTHING listed as "hydrolyzed" contains MSG. I went by this religiously in reading labels and avoided hydrolyzed whey and soy isolate as well as any product that had the word hydrolyzed in the label at all.
Recently, I tried a product that was highly recommended to me. I was stunned to read that all three ingredients were hydrolyzed so put in a call to the company for more information on why this product would be
called msg-free when it has hydrolyzed ingredients.
Different Types of Hydrolyzation: I got a detailed phone call back from someone from the company that made the
hydrolyzed purple rice product I had been taking (did not have msg reactions to this product, by the way). The person responding said they also had msg sensitivities so they had, like myself, been questioning of this on the label.
I learned something I did not know about hydrolyzation methods. From what this fella said, most ingredients are hydrolyzed with chemicals or an enzymatic process that creates free glutamic acid. As far as I've been able to tell, hydrolyzing something involves adding water. However, if the process uses ONLY water, and nothing else, the expectation is that there would not be any free glutamic
acid created. However, please read on because there is no definitive answer on this that I've been able to track down so far. The machine used to create this hydrolyzed rice is a one-of-a-kind machine so that may be part of the reason for the difference in this product as well.
Other hydrolyzed ingredients that definitely include free glutamic acid are hydrolyzed proteins. This is where it gets very tricky because the water-only rice has protein. From what I understand animal proteins that are hydrolyzed will always have free glutamic acid, as will other proteins (soy) hydrolyzed by the addition of other ingredients besides water in the hydrolyzation process. Companies are not forthcoming on their process so it might take a lot of digging, like I've done with this one product, to find out if a enzymatic or chemical ingredient besides just pure water is used.
I can't say 100 percent that water-ONLY-hydrolyzed products do not contain a form of msg but I can say that I believe most of what has
been researched on this so far points to the potential that at least some of them may not contain it, or may contain it at far lower levels than other hydrolyzed products. The most telling thing for me was the absense of symptoms with the one product that I know of
that is pure-water-hydrolyzed. I hope it's true because the process that reduces this rice to a size where it can be almost instantly absorbed and used by the body
as nutrition is wonderful. I love the product and as long as I don't have msg reactions, I'll keep using it.
Health Care Disclaimer:
As mentioned earlier, I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that a water-only-hydrolyzed product does not contain any free glutamic acid or MSG. What I can say is that, in my experience, the one product I've found
that only uses water to hydrolyze does not give me any notable amount of msg reactions. If you have syptoms of severe monosodium glutamate sensitivity, perhaps an allergy test with any hydrolyzed product might be wise before ingesting.