I heard from a friend yesterday. She was extremely angry because her young child has what appear to be allergic reactions to MSG - monosodium glutamate. She bought and served some food that did not list MSG as an ingredient under that name, but used another term she didn't recognize. As a result, her child became quite ill, and needed urgent medical treatment to deal with the symptoms.
There's a lot of disagreement about whether there is such a thing as an allergy to MSG. Medical science largely says there isn't. However, MSG can produce certain reactions that may be mislabeled an "allergy", particularly in some children. I won't go into that argument here. What did interest me was to learn how many manufacturers call MSG by a different name when labeling the contents of their foods.
Here are some of the names [manufacturers] use to disguise MSG:
Some manufacturers even hide MSG under the catch-all “bouillon” term.
- glutamic acid
- monopotassium glutamate or simply “glutamate”
- yeast extract or yeast nutrient
- hydrolyzed proteins (hydrolyzed vegetable protein, animal protein or plant protein)
- soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate
- whey protein (whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate)
- autolyzed plant protein
- hydrolyzed oat flour
- textured protein
- caseinate (sodium caseinate and calcium caseinate)
- natural flavorings or simply “flavoring”
- enzyme modified
- maltodextrin or malt extract
- protein fortified
With so many different names for one harmful ingredient, a good idea is to make a list of these secret names and then take it with you when you go grocery shopping.
There's more at the link.
I wish there was some way to standardize on a single name for MSG (or any other potentially allergy-producing ingredient) and insist that food manufacturers use that name, instead of such a wide range of potentially deceptive labels. It would make life much easier!