E621: What it is, Health Risks and How to Use It

monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sodium glutamate - harmonized system code: 29224220.


Chemically defined as the sodium salt of glutamic acid, E621 is one of the most widely used flavor enhancers in the food industry.

Today a certain collective aversion to the use of E621 persists. This, which arose in the second half of the twentieth century - with the "discovery" of the phantom Chinese Restaurant Syndrome - but intensified mainly in the early 2000s, conditioned the food industries to this point to push them to remove the E621 or to create dedicated lines without this additive. E621 is indeed a harmless compound; as we will discuss below, there is no evidence that it can negatively affect human health - with a few minor exceptions likely linked to pre-existing pathological conditions.

Glutamic acid is a very abundant and widespread non-essential amino acid in nature; it is found naturally in common foods such as: algae, tomatoes, grapes, cheese, mushrooms, etc. Sodium, on the other hand, is an electrolyte naturally present in foods but very abundant especially in table salt - we remind you that any excess in the diet, especially related to the consumption of high-calorie, fatty foods - sausages, aged cheeses, etc. - and overweight, can favor the appearance and / or aggravation of sodium sensitive primary arterial hypertension.

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