Before I go into the SOY-MSG connection I will try to shed some light on msg and its potential negative effects on one’s health.
MSG, or monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. OK…so what does that mean?
Glutamic acid is an abundant, non-essential, naturally occurring amino acid. Amino acids are what protein is made out of. There are nine essential amino acids, meaning, our bodies can’t produce them and must get them from food. Meat products have all nine as do some plants and vegetables. Chia seed is one, quinoi grain is another.
MSG, therefore, is the salt from glutamic acid. How is it extracted? MSG is “generally made by bacterial or microbial fermentation wherein the bacteria used are often, if not always, genetically engineered.” 1
In case you didn’t know, MSG is used by industrial food manufacturers as a flavour enhancer because it “balances, blends and rounds the total perception of other tastes.”2
At this point, MSG is considered by national and international bodies for the safety of food additives to be “safe for human consumption as a flavour enhancer.”2
In my opinion, the safety of MSG consumption is on thin ice. For example: “The Oral lethal dose to 50% of subjects is between 15 to 18 g/kg body weight in rat and mice respectively. 5 times greater than that of salt. Therefore, the intake of MSG as a food additive and the natural level of glutamic acid in foods do not represent a toxicologinal concern in humans.”3
OK, so if I eat 1 kg of MSG all at once I can expect at least a near death experience. But having just a little at a time is fine.
That’s it? Cased closed?
Not yet. Further information on the potential harm of MSG will be discussed in a future post.
Now, back to the task at hand.
The Soy-MSG connection: Hydrolyzed Soy Protein and Soy Protein Isolate.
SoyInfo.com is a good reference site for all things soy. They are not funded by or associated any soybean companies so it’s a great place to go for unbiased info.
In regards to hydrolyzed soy protein, SoyInfo.com states that: “The extraction process of hydrolysis involves boiling in a vat of acid and then neutralizing the solution with a caustic soda. The resultant sludge is scraped off the top and allowed to dry.”
Sounds pretty tasty.
Besides soy protein, this stuff contains “free-form exitotoxic amino acids”, also known as MSG.
The food industry loves to use large amounts of hydorlyzed proteins as flavour enhancers because of the significant amounts of MSG contained therein. Food products containing hydrolyzed proteins are not required to label MSG on the ingredients list. Why not?
More from SoyInfo.com: “In almost all cases, hydrolyzed soy protein contains a significant amount of genetically manipulated soy.”
Soy protein isolate is “a highly-processed protein isolate where the soy protein is removed from defatted soybean flakes. Soy protein isolates contain over 90% soy protein. It commonly contains genetically-manipulated soy.”
An article at savvyvegetarian.com states: “Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. The resultand curds are spray-dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein”
I’d be willing to wager that hydrolyzed soy protein and soy protein isolates can be found in a significant number of popular food products. Next time you’re at the grocery store see how many you can identify.
Disclaimer: Statements made in this publication are the thoughts and opinions of the author and have not been evaluated by the U.S. or Canadian Food and Drug Administration.