If MSG is ‘natural’ why have hundreds of patents been issued for methods of producing it?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in an animal, vegetable, or mineral was manufactured and then ingested or added in some manner.

Below are just three examples of patents pertaining to the manufacture of MSG. There are literally hundreds more. MSG is man-made.

1. US3281247A – Process for producing monosodium glutamate


2. CN104211611A – New fermentation technology of sodium glutamate


3. WO1996031459A1 – A process for the preparation of monosodium glutamate


Below are general discussions pertaining to methods used in production of MSG (written by scientists, not by Ajinomoto’s hired hands).

1. Optimization of glutamic acid production by Corynebacterium glutamicum using response surface methodology

Naiyf S. Alharbia, Shine Kadaikunnana, Jamal M. Khaleda, Taghreed N. Almanaaa,Ganesh Moorthy Innasimuthub, Baskar Rajooc, Khalid F. Alanzia, Shyam Kumar Rajaram.

Journal of King Saud University – Science. Volume 32, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 1403-1408.


2. Tasty waste: industrial fermentation and the creative destruction of MSG

Sarah E. Tracy

Food, Culture & Society (2019). 22:5, 548-65,


Meet the people who manufacture and market toxic chemicals disguised as food

The book that will introduce you to the men and women who manufacture and market toxic chemicals dressed up as food, the people they hire to execute carefully rigged research guaranteed to conclude that excitotoxic — brain damaging — free glutamic acid is safe for human consumption, and the ways in which the U.S. government has, from the beginning done their bidding. Get your copy here.

Propaganda. More powerful than research.

Glutamate-industry propaganda is based on industry’s Six Big Fat Lies; on extensive repetition of praise for monosodium glutamate; on disparagement of people who question the safety of monosodium glutamate – all bound up in beautifully wrapped consumer-friendly rhetoric.

The “facts” found in glutamate-industry propaganda come from their Six Big Fat Lies. Use of a particular lie depends on the point that industry is attempting to make, and the audience it’s addressing:


1) The glutamate contained in MSG is identical to the glutamate in the human body.

2) MSG is very well researched and found to be safe.

3) It must be safe since the FDA has said so.

4) MSG has been used for over a century without adverse reactions.

5) MSG is naturally made, similar to yogurt, vinegar and wine.

6) Monosodium glutamate occurs naturally in food.

Want to know the truth? Go here for answers.

Manufactured vs. natural glutamic acid

There are a number of straightforward bold-faced lies used by the glutamate industry in defending its contention that exposure to free glutamic acid found in processed food does not cause adverse reactions, could not possibly cause brain damage, learning disorders, or endocrine disturbances, and could not possibly be relevant to diverse diseases of the central nervous system such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Central to their argument is the lie that the processed free glutamic acid used in processed food is identical to the glutamic acid found in unprocessed, unadulterated food and in the human body.

The truth of the matter is that the glutamic acid found in unprocessed, unadulterated, and/or unfermented food and in the human body is composed of one form of a single amino acid, L-glutamic acid, and nothing more.

In contrast, the glutamic acid that is freed from protein through a manufacturing process or through fermentation (i.e., processed free glutamic acid), is always accompanied by D-glutamic acid and by a variety of other by-products of L-glutamic acid production (impurities). Thus, the glutamic acid that is used as a flavor enhancer in processed food is always composed of L-glutamic acid, D-glutamic acid and impurities that inevitably appear during fermentation or other modes of glutamic acid manufacture or processing. In addition to the inevitable production of D-glutamic acid, impurities may include, but are not limited to, pyroglutamic acid, mono and dichloro propanols, and heterocyclic amines. Mono and dichloro propanols and heterocyclic amines are carcinogenic. The consequences of the interactions of these various chemicals with other chemicals and/or with the digestive processes are unknown.

Processed free glutamic acid (MSG) used in processed food such as monosodium glutamate and in plant “growth enhancers” is made up of a complex of chemicals (L-glutamic acid, D-glutamic acid, assorted other by-products of production and sodium). The glutamic acid found in unprocessed, unadulterated food and in the human body is a single amino acid. So there is no reason to believe that the glutamic acid in monosodium glutamate will be functionally equivalent to pure, unadulterated, L-glutamic acid. There is no reason to believe that the processed and the unprocessed chemicals will behave identically.

MSG in cosmetics, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals

You know those patches that some people wear to deliver meds into their systems — like nitroglycerin patches for angina? And the muscle pain creams used to relieve certain types of muscle pain? Like Bengay and Arnica cream?

Well, processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid applied to the skin works just like those products do. It penetrates the skin and delivers its ingredients into your system. So it should come as no surprise that processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid (MSG) when applied to the skin can cause adverse reactions in people who are sensitive to it.

You likely know the names of ingredients (most often food ingredients) that contain MSG. But have you identified where those ingredients are hidden in shampoos, conditioners, soaps, lotions, deodorants, hair coloring, and cosmetics that you use? In tooth paste and mouth wash? “Amino acid(s)” and “glutamic acid” (which are inevitably manufactured), are favorites, especially for shampoos.

Pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements often contain amino acids. Don’t be fooled by the industry hype that “their” supplements or pharmaceuticals are “natural.” Check out these industry-generated claims for yourself. All supplements and pharmaceuticals are manufactured. The individual amino acids in supplements and pharmaceuticals are manufactured.

Particular attention needs to be given to protein powders. “Protein” is not the name of an ingredient. “Protein powder” listed as an ingredient is made up of a group of amino acids (manufactured, of course) that the FDA allows manufacturers to call “protein powder.” Beef is a food/ingredient that is labeled “beef” when present in a product. It’s not called beef protein. If something is called “beef protein,” it is an array of amino acids that have been derived from beef.

At present, soy protein, pea protein, and whey protein are among the most popular protein starting-materials used for manufacture of protein powders. All are made of arrays of amino acids, derived from soy, peas, and whey.

All protein powders contain MSG.

FDA violates its own rules in calling MSG ‘safe’

BY FDA REGULATIONS: According to Sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations 21 CFR 170.3 and 21 CFR 170.30, the use of a food substance may be GRAS (generally recognized as safe) either through scientific procedures or, for a substance used in food before 1958, through experience based on common use in food.

In short, to be designated FDA GRAS an ingredient must be tested for safety using scientific procedures (with the same evidence as required for food additive approval), unless it is known to be safe through common use in food prior to January 1958.

FACT: Neither the monosodium glutamate in use prior to 1957 (MSG-1) nor the monosodium glutamate in use today (MSG-2) has ever been tested for safety.

FACT: The monosodium glutamate in use today (MSG-2) is not the same monosodium glutamate that was grandfathered GRAS in 1958 (MSG-1), yet the FDA seems not to have noticed.

FACT: Glutamic acid is an excitotoxic amino acid. When ingested in controlled quantities, glutamic acid is essential to normal function of the body. But when ingested in excess, it causes brain damage, leading to a variety of abnormalities. Prior to 1957, when MSG-1 was the source of monosodium glutamate, there was not enough manufactured free glutamate added to food to cause glutamate to become excitotoxic. That changed with the introduction of MSG-2.

FACT: MSG-2, the monosodium glutamate in use today, could not have been grandfathered GRAS in 1958 because it didn’t exist.

CONCLUSION: To be designated FDA GRAS, an ingredient has to be tested for safety using scientific procedures – unless it was known to be safe through experience based on common use in food prior to January 1958. MSG-2, the monosodium glutamate in use today was neither.

For more details, and to read the FDA rules as they appear in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations go here.

Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D.