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Citric Acid similar in effect to MSG?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I thought I remembered it being mentioned that SF had discussed how citric acid added to foods was thought to have a similar effect on our bodies as MSG. Does anyone remember this? Do you know of a link to a discussion of this?
post #2 of 12
I'd like to get to the bottom of this too. From what I understand, citric acid doesn't act in the body like MSG, it is traditionally made from fruit, but lately a good bit of it is made from corn, and the made from corn citric acid DOES act in the body like MSG.
I've read the MSG article at the WAP site but I want to know more specifics because I really like it for canning my tomatoes instead of lemon juice, and also I use it in a few cheese I make. I get it from the health food store and the bag label says its derived from fruit. I want to make sure about this though, and it has me uneasy.
Its also harder to source out canned tomatoes from the store that don't have it added. I wonder if there is a bulk source that can definetely say its derived from fruit and the fruit stuff doesn't act as MSG in the body. Those are my questions.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
All very interesting, NettleSongMom! I'm interested in finding out more. We think dh has food sensitivities and among them we're thinking is MSG. Last night he had some industrial food at a church event. We didn't really think much of it, but it was spaghetti. I know the commercial spaghetti sauces have citric acid in them. He had a very quick reaction to it which brought back to mind the issues w/citric acid vs MSG.

I have a feeling that the spaghetti sauce had corn derived MSG in it - what industrial food doesn't have some form of corn in it? I'm going to head on over and read the MSG article and I guess it's off to do a google search and see what else I can find.

I feel badly for dh - there are so many meal related things for his job that it's hard for him to avoid the industrial food. I'm beginning to think I should be sending him with food to all of them regardless of how rude that may seem. I just don't think it's worth it for him to eat there and suffer the consequences afterwards - although kombucha at this point does appear to be a wonder drink for him!!
post #4 of 12
if you look up msg in NT, there is some citric acid info on the same page. it's not as bad, but not good, i can't remember the details.
post #5 of 12
Well if the reaction was to spag sauce in a can, it could be the citric acid but also more likely there WAS msg in it as msg currently hides in ingredients listed as: "spices" or my least favorite "natural flavorings". Almost every mainstream spag sauce in the grocery store features "natural flavorings."

Its crazy isn't it? I was at a typical grocery store last night and nearly *everything* was unacceptable.....
post #6 of 12
According to MSGmyth.com, the following is a list of other names for MSG.
As for sensitivity to MSG, we are all sensitive to MSG whether we know it or not. It kills brain cells. It's an excitotoxin and has no business in food any more than Roundup does.

Foods always contain MSG when these words are on the label:
MSG, Gelatin, Calcium Caseinate, Monosodium glutamate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Textured Protein, Monopotassium glutamate, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Yeast Extract, Glutamate, Autolyzed Plant Protein, Yeast food or nutrient, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, or Autolyzed Yeast

Foods made with the following products often contain MSG.
Malted Barley (flavor) Flavors, Flavoring, Modified food starch, Barley malt Reaction Flavors, Rice syrup or brown rice syrup, Malt Extract or Flavoring, Natural Chicken, Beef, or Pork, Flavoring, "Seasonings" (Most assume this means salt, pepper, or spices and herbs, which sometimes it is.), Lipolyzed butter fat, Maltodextrin, Soy Sauce or Extract, "Low" or "No Fat" items, Caramel Flavoring (coloring), Soy Protein, Corn syrup and corn syrup solids (some companies use another process to make their product, saying it is MSG free), Stock, Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate, Citric Acid (when processed from corn), Broth, Cornstarch, Milk Powder, Bouillon, Flowing Agents, Dry Milk Solids, Carrageenan, Wheat, rice, or oat protein, Protein Fortified Milk, Whey Protein or Whey, Anything enriched or vitamin enriched, Annatto, Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate, Protein fortified "anything", Spice, Pectin, Enzyme modified "anythng", Gums, Protease, Ultra-pasteurized "anything", Dough Conditioners, Protease enzymes, Fermented "anything", Yeast Nutrients.

So, I'd bet that commercially prepared sauce had some of the above.
post #7 of 12
Tomatoes naturally have msg in them. My dh is sensitive to all tomatoes and has to be very careful to only eat small quanities if at all.
post #8 of 12
This is an interesting article about naturally occuring glutimates and msg http://www.fastmoving.co.za/contentV...65&folder-id=0
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you BeagleMommy for the link and the extended list of ingredients. I know it will be helpful in the future so I can try to avoid MSG type ingredients in the future with the few food that we buy where it might be an issue.

I don't think it was the tomatoes. Dh can eat my homemade tomato sauce w/out any problems (tomatoes from my garden).

Very intriguing about the "dough conditioners". Would that be used in some commercial breads?
post #10 of 12
I know this thread is old, but this is concerning. I knew about most of the ones on the *always* list, but not on the *sometimes* list.

We live in an area where it's hard to get "real" food. We do a pretty good job, but there things that we buy in every shopping trip that are processed even though they're probably the best processed on the market. I have seen some of these things even in the organic foods that we get.

How in the world am I supposed to avoid all of this? I'm feeling discouraged now. :
post #11 of 12
I read somewhere else (where *was* it??) that citric acid was linked to cancer - maybe a Wise Traditions article? Hmmm, this is going to bug me all day until I figure it out...

That list from MSGmyth said to avoid anything that contained "fermented anything," why is that?
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
That list from MSGmyth said to avoid anything that contained "fermented anything," why is that?
Most natural occurrences of MSG are created through fermentation. I think most fermented things have at least trace amounts of free glutamic acid (MSG) in it.

I'm not sensitive to natural sources and can eat tomatoes and mushrooms and such fine, but I get sick from food additive forms of anything, including MSG. Citric acid in food is usually in small enough amounts especially when I'm only using one ingredient containing it when cooking, but mentally I feel gross eating it. I've been slowly weaning off all processed foods of any sort, and have come to the point I won't buy anything that contains anything other than the whole foods. I will avoid anything possibly containing hidden ingredients, such as natural flavorings, spices, citric acid, etc.

It's really hard. It's also really expensive since I cook with tomatoes a lot and have to now get the fresh tomatoes even in the winter if I want to make my dishes since I can't find any brand of canned tomatoes without citric acid added. It's also time consuming to make my own sauces. I've yet to find a good substitute for oyster sauce and my next project is to experiment with making my own BBQ sauce.
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