Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD on February 12, 2020 — median reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition

Hundreds of ingredient are added to foods during processing to enhance the flavor of the last product.

Monosodium glutamate, typically known as MSG, is among the most controversial food additives authorized for usage by the Food and also Drug administration (FDA).

While it’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) to be provided in the food supply by regulation agencies, part research reflects that it may negatively affect health, i beg your pardon is why many people pick to avoid it (1).

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This write-up explains what MSG is, what foodstuffs it’s typically included to, and also what the research says about possible health implications.


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What is MSG?
MSG is a renowned flavor enhancer derived from L-glutamic acid, a naturally developing amino acid that’s vital for the development of protein (2).

Aside indigenous being supplied as a food additive, MSG occurs naturally in particular foods, including tomatoes and also cheeses (3).

It was first identified as a flavor enhancer by Japanese researcher in 1908 and has because become one of the most widely supplied additives in food production (3).

Today, it have the right to be discovered in a number of processed products, from rapid food come canned soups.

MSG increases the flavor of foods items by stimulating taste receptors and has been displayed in study studies to increase the accept of certain flavors. Including MSG to foodstuffs results in an umami taste, i m sorry is characterized as savory and meaty (4).

This famous additive has actually been reputed GRAS by the FDA, despite some professionals argue that it can have possibly dangerous side effects, specifically when consumed on a irreversible basis (5).

The FDA mandates the MSG have to be labeled by the usual surname of monosodium glutamate when offered as one ingredient in food. Foods that naturally contain MSG, such together tomato products, protein isolates, and also cheeses, aren’t required to list MSG together an ingredient (6).

In other countries, MSG is classified together a food additive and also may be noted by the E-number E621 (7).

Here space 8 foods items that generally contain MSG.


1. Fast food

One the the best-known sources of MSG is quick food, particularly Chinese food.

In fact, MSG symptom facility is a condition characterized by symptoms consisting of headache, hives, swelling of the throat, itching, and also belly pain knowledgeable by some people shortly after spend MSG-laden Chinese food (8).

Although numerous Chinese restaurants have actually stopped making use of MSG as an ingredient, others proceed to add it to a variety of popular dishes, consisting of fried rice.

MSG is likewise used through franchises favor Kentucky Fried Chicken and also Chick-fil-A to boost the smell of foods.

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For example, Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Sandwich and also Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Extra Crispy Chicken breast are just some the the menu items the contain MSG (9, 10).


Seasoning blends are used to give a salty, savory taste come dishes like stews, tacos, and stir-fries.

MSG is supplied in countless seasoning blends to increase taste and an increase the umami flavor cheap without adding extra salt (13).

In fact, MSG is provided in the manufacturing of low sodium items to rise flavor there is no the addition of salt. MSG can be found in countless low salt flavoring products, consisting of seasoning blends and bouillon cubes (14).

Additionally, MSG is included to some meat, poultry, and also fish rubs and also seasonings to boost the palatability of foods (15).