Glutamates – MSG

MSG and naturally occurring glutamates can irritate nerve endings. Glutamate sensitivity may contribute to anxiety, depression, migraines, seizures, sleep disorders and pain hypersensitivity conditions like fibromyalgia.

GLUTAMATE is a building block of all proteins, and is found naturally in most foods. In its free form, not linked to protein, it enhances the flavour of food. This is why foods rich in natural glutamate are used in many meals, for example tomatoes, cheeses, mushrooms, stock cubes, sauces, meat extracts and yeast extracts. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also be used as an additive to increase the flavour of soups, sauces, Asian cooking and snack foods.

A Low Glutamate diet

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. Care should be taken to read all product ingredient lists to look for ingredients containing the following flavour enhancers: Monosodium glutamate (MSG, 621) and related flavour compounds (620, 622, 623, 624, 625, 627, 631, 635, 636, 637, 640, 641), Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Textured vegetable Protein (TVP). If a product lists an ingredient as flavour, without a detailed additive description or code, the product should not be used in this diet.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines



  1. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH Food Intolerance Handbook, Volume I: Diagnostic eliminationdiet. Sydney: RPAH 2016.
  2. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH Food Intolerance Handbook, Volume II: Challenges, liberalizingand maintenance. Sydney: RPAH 2016.
  3. Swain AR, Soutter VL, Loblay RH. Friendly food: the complete guide to avoiding allergies, additives andproblem chemicals. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2004.
  4. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Monosodium glutamate: a safety assessment. Technical Report Series No 20. Canberra: FSANZ; 2003. [accessed 15 October 2016]; Available at: publications/Pages/technicalreportserie1338.aspx

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