How dangerous is taste enhancer really?

How dangerous is taste enhancer really?

Severe diseases such as itchy skin, allergies and even multiple sclerosis: all of these are triggering glutamate. But is the slander of the flavor enhancer justified?

It is found in almost all prepared foods and has a poor reputation: glutamate is said to trigger many symptoms and diseases. But is it really true?

What is glutamate?

Glutamic acid salts are called glutamate. In the human body, matter plays an important role as a transmitter and is responsible for the transmission, processing and storage of information.

As a food additive, you should increase the flavor of the products. Six types of glutamic acid compounds have been approved for this and European approval numbers range from E620 to E625. The most common is monosodium glutamate (E621), in English it is known as “monosodium glutamate”.

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

What does glutamate taste like?

The basic flavor of glutamate is “umami”. In addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter, “umami” is the fifth flavor. It can be described as the most spicy and spicy. For example, the word has been translated as “soulful”, “cheesy”, “clay” or “smoky”.

Critics consider taste enhancers suspicious because they are supposed to inhibit the regulation of hunger and satiety in the body. There is a widespread belief that people who often eat foods spiced with glutamate are often overeating by the body. Although the subject is considered controversial, the study’s position on it is contradictory. The European Union (EU) is allowed to add up to ten grams of glutamate per kilogram of food.

Which foods contain glutamate?

A bias is that glutamate is only artificially added to the prepared food. The substance is natural and is also found in the following foods:

  • tomatoes
  • Parmesan
  • the thigh
  • sea ​​kelp
  • Walnut

Glutamate is added to bag soups, canned food and other prepared foods to enhance the natural flavor of food. Prepared sauces and many spice mixtures also have a high proportion of additives.

How do you know if a product contains glutamate?

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

You can identify glutamate with these E numbers

E-number relation
E620 Glutomic acid
E 621 Monetrium Glutamate, Natrium Glutamate
E 622 Monocallium glutamate
E 623 Calciumdiglutamate
E 624 Monoammonium glutamate
E625 Magnesium diglutamate

Glutamate intolerance

Glutamate is often publicly associated with the disease. Some people report being allergic to the substance or suffering from glutamate intolerance. Nausea, headaches, tingling in the face and other parts of the body: These symptoms are said to have arisen from excessive glutamate intake, for example after visiting a Chinese restaurant.

This is why the term “China Restaurant Syndrome” is also used, as Chinese cuisine uses a relatively large amount of glutamate. However, such a relationship could not be proved in many studies.

Is glutamate unhealthy?

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis: Glutamate is repeatedly associated with severe neurological diseases. According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), glutamate in food is harmful to health. In animal experiments, the substance was harmful in some cases. High doses were given directly to newborn mice via tubes and brain damage occurred. However, if glutamate was in food or drink, it had no negative consequences for the animals.

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The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BFR) also considers topical spices harmless with glutamate. However, it does not recommend using it as an alternative to table salt: “Apart from the fact that glutamates do not produce a specific salty flavor, the compounds are only used as flavor enhancers for their intended purpose. Should be done, ”says BFR.

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