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Is the flavor enhancer really that dangerous?

Is the flavor enhancer really that dangerous?

Itchy skin, allergies, and even serious illnesses like multiple sclerosis: all of these are supposed to stimulate glutamate. But is the flavor enhancer’s poor reputation justified?

It’s found in nearly all ready meals and has a bad reputation: Glutamate is said to cause a number of symptoms and ailments. But is that really true?

What is glutamate?

The salts of glutamic acid are known as glutamate. In the human body, matter plays an important role as a transmitter and is responsible for transmitting, processing and storing information.

As a food additive, you must improve the taste of the products. Six types of glutamic acid compounds have been approved for this purpose and have European approval numbers E 620 to E 625. The most common is monosodium glutamate (E 621), known in English as “monosodium glutamate”.

Glutamate And the Algolten They are not the same. Gluten is a natural grain protein found in rye and wheat, for example.

What does glutamate taste like?

Glutamate’s main flavor is “umami”. In addition to the sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavor, “umami” is the fifth flavor. It can be described as tart and spicy. For example, the term has been translated as “meaty”, “cheesy”, “earthy” or “smoked.”

Critics consider flavor enhancers questionable because they are meant to subvert the body’s regulation of hunger and satiety. The prevailing assumption is that those who often consume food spiced with glutamate often eat more than the body needs. However, the topic is controversial, and the study’s position on it is contradictory. In the European Union (EU), glutamate is allowed to add up to ten grams per kilogram of food.

What foods contain glutamate?

The prejudice is that glutamate is only artificially added to ready meals. It is a natural substance and is also found in the following foods:

  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan
  • pork
  • Seaweed
  • Walnuts

Glutamate is added to soup bags, canned foods, and other ready meals to enhance the natural taste of the food. Ready sauces and many spice mixes also contain a high content of the additive.

How do you know if a product contains glutamate?

Flavor enhancers This must be indicated on the product packaging. If it contains monosodium glutamate, it should be identified on the packaging as “flavor enhancer monoglutamate” or “E621 flavor enhancer”.

You can recognize glutamate by these numbers E.

Electronic number Connection
H 620 Glutamic acid
H 621 Mononatriumglutamat, Natriumglutamat
H 622 Monocalium glutamate
H 623 Calcium Diglutamate
H 624 Monoammonium Glutamate
H 625 Magnesium diglutamate

Glutamate intolerance

Glutamate is often associated with disease in public settings. Some people have reported allergic to the substance or have a glutamate intolerance. Nausea, headache, and tingling in the face and other parts of the body: These symptoms are said to be caused by eating a lot of glutamate, for example after visiting Chinese restaurants.

This is why the term “China Restaurant Syndrome” is also used, as Chinese cuisine uses a relatively large amount of glutamate. However, this association cannot be proven in several studies.

Is glutamate unhealthy?

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis: Glutamate is frequently associated with serious neurological diseases. According to the German Association for feed (DGE), glutamate in food is not harmful to health. In animal experiments, the substance was harmful in some cases. High doses were administered directly to the neonatal mice via tubes and caused brain damage. However, if glutamate was present in food or drinks, it would not have any negative consequences for animals.

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The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also considers the occasional seasoning with glutamate to be harmless. However, it is not recommended for use as a substitute for table salt: “Aside from the fact that glutamate does not produce a typical salty taste, the compounds should only be used as a flavor enhancer for their intended purpose,” says BfR.