Myth: “No MSG Added” label means product contains no MSG.
Fact: NOT TRUE.
Some manufacturers use “clean labels”, i.e., labels that contain only ingredient names they think consumers will not recognize as containing MSG — names such as “hydrolyzed soy protein”, “yeast extracts”, etc, while others advertise “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG,” even though their products contain MSG.
Placing “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG” on food labels has been deemed by the USFDA to be false and misleading under Section (403)(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act when the label also lists any form of hydrolyzed protein as an ingredient (since it contains MSG).
USFDA announced in 1995 that “…FDA considers foods whose labels say “No MSG” or “No Added MSG” to be misleading if the food contains ingredients that are sources of free glutamates, such as hydrolyzed protein, yeast extracts, cheese, tomato, etc.
Thus, to advertise “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG” when there is processed free glutamic acid in a product is not right. Those making such claims should be able to demonstrate, through valid tests for free glutamic acid content, that there is no (zero) free glutamic acid in their products.
However, in reality, it is almost impossible for regular products/ingredients not to contain free glutamic acid. Although a product may claim it does not contain any MSG or MSG-containing ingredients, any ingredients that contain even a bit of protein can be hydrolyzed (through heat, enzymes, acid, etc), causing free glutamic acid (and thus, MSG) to be released.
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