What is MSG and HVP?

HVP

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a product added to foods to enhance its flavor. It is the single sodium salt of the amino acid Glutamic Acid.   For the thousands of years the Japanese have used Kombu to  heighten the taste of their food. It was later when  chemists stepped in to isolate  this “taste enhancing” active ingredient and chemically duplicate it using an industrial fermentation process that  problems began. It was after World War II, that food manufacturers in America discovered just how much  MSG would  enhance the flavor of otherwise bland foods. At the time of its discovery it was thought to be perfectly safe, since the origin  was a natural substance…an amino acid. Large amounts of MSG along with other food additives were increased in  foods throughout the post war period. In fact the amount of MSG in foods has doubled every decade since the 1940’s. Since 1957, MSG  is also produced using genetically modified bacteria (GMO’s) that secrete glutamic acid through their cell walls.

It is a fairly controversial food additive. It is used in food processing, restaurants  and in some home use. It is most often used in canned and processed foods, processed meats, seasoning packets, soups, baked goods and even candies. MSG is probably best  known for causing migraines, although other symptoms such as  chest pain, skin flushing, numbness or burning around mouth, swelling and sweating have also been reported. Since the public has a negative attitude towards MSG, the food industry has come up with a host of new names to disguise it in foods. (see page on Hidden Sources of MSG). Because MSG is chemically processed, it can cause numerous adverse reactions such as migraine headaches, asthma,  hives, skin rashes,  vomiting, heart irregularities and more.  (To read more about MSG click here).

HVP (Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein) is made from junk or bad vegetables that are not fit for sale to the public. They are  boiled in hydrochloric acid. The solution that is produced is then neutralized with sodium hydroxides, which then cause the acids to break down. The result is a brown sludge like product that floats on top of the boiled vegetables. This sludge is then scraped off and dried. It is known to carry excitotoxins, glutamate, cystoic acid and aspartate.  This product is then  used by the food manufacturers in numerous processed foods. Many individuals show the same adverse reactions to HVP, as they do to MSG.

There is currently no regulation in the USA regarding the amount of HVP  and MSG that can be used in foods.

 

References:

http://msgtruth.org/migraine.htm

http://usrecallnews.com/2010/what-is-hvp

http://eufic.org/article/en/artid/monosodium-glutamate/

http://truthinlabelling.org/What isMSG.html

Staying Healthy with Nutrition , Elson Haas M.D.

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.

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My Health Maven offers information on a wholistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices.

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