MSG and free glutamates


MSG and free glutamates are used to enhance flavor in about 80% of all processed foods. – Raymond Francis M.Sc. MIT


Through the Beyond Health which is the website of Raymond Francis‘s company, I first received some information about this claim. In the email (2014), Ms Pamela Strong, who answered my message on Beyond Health, said that “the statement that MSG and free glutamates are used to enhance flavor in about 80% of all processed foods was true at one time; it is, however, no longer true. ” However, when I tried to follow up to see whether I could get the update on this data or the original copy of the research, I got nothing.

Therefore, this claim was true, but is no longer true now.

No matter the exact percentage of MSG in the processed food, it is the fact that MSG is still widely used in food industry. “Some would say that the public’s widespread distrust of MSG has deeply moved food makers—not to take glutamate out of their food, but to find ways of delivering it under unassuming pseudonyms.” (Dickerman, 2006)

And from Names of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG), you can find some of the so-called “unassuming pseudonyms”.

Nevertheless, according to USDA (2012), “FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS).” Also a study (1995) on MSG conducted by FDA suggested that MSG had no huge effect on most people, which is also the last large-scale research on this. 


  • Strong, Pamela. “Re: Ticket #CQ3C9: statistics about MSG.” Message to Huan Geng. 18 Nov. 2014. E-mail.


Next fact-checking


4 thoughts on “MSG and free glutamates

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