Vegemite is full of MSG

By Rebecca Carden — February 07, 2015

Vegemite 714X412

Did you know Vegemite & Promite are full of MSG?

MSG can be either chemically manufactured or ‘naturally occurring’.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the amino acid Glutamate stabilised with water and salt. Glutamate is the free, unadulterated amino acid.

Some natural foods especially soy sauce, strong cheeses, tomatoes and mushrooms can contain high amounts of naturally occurring MSG otherwise referred to as free glutamates.

There are two common forms of glutamic acid, L-glutamic acid and D-glutamic acid. L-glutamic acid found in protein is referred to as ‘bound’ or ‘protein bound’ glutamic acid. In real, natural foods like tomato, meat or seaweed, amino acids are rarely free. Rather, they are linked or bound in long chains to other amino acids in peptides or proteins. There is no problem with consuming bound glutamate as the body controls the amount of glutamic acid that it takes from protein. Excess glutamic acid is not stored by the body, preventing toxicity. It is passed off as waste. Utilized this way, glutamic acid from eating protein is harmless.

D-glutamic acid or ‘free glutamic acid’ on the other hand is artificially and chemically produced outside of the body and in a factory. This is what is we know as monosodium glutamate or MSG.

A processed snack product like cheese flavoured potato chips for example might have a strong cheesy flavour, bound glutamate is likely to be in this particular blend of flavour additives. It might be derived from concentrated soy sauce, tomato, cheese, mushroom or vegetable powder although you’ll probably find a form of MSG such as yeast extract or hydrolysed vegetable protein hidden away in there as well. It is impossible to tell how many free glutamates (the bad guys) a product contains because an FDA proposal to list this on the label was defeated by the food industry in 1996. Cheeky.

“By FDA definition, any ingredient or constituent of an ingredient that comes from a plant or animal source is “naturally occurring.” Thus, arsenic and hydrochloric acid are both naturally occurring. You will not, however, find them used as food ingredients. Similarly, hydrochloric acid in the human body is essential to normal body function. We don’t, however, ingest hydrochloric acid”.

Adding to consumer woes, in Australia there is a five per cent labelling loophole that essentially says if an ingredient – for example, a flavour such as spice extract or salt – forms less than five per cent of a product, an additive in that ingredient does not have to be listed. This basically creates a free for all for big food manufacturers to go to town with their chemical concoctions and add them willy nilly to all processed food products.

MSG is a synthetic additive, regular quantities will have you both wired and hooked as it is an excitotoxin, which makes it particularly dangerous for children and people with nervous system disorders such as MS or Parkinson's.

There are studies out there that have concluded 25-30% of the population are intolerant to MSG.

Researcher Carol Hoernlein links MSG to 29 health conditions, including Alzheimer’s, asthma, autism, epilepsy, diabetes, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, pituitary tumours, and vision problems.

We are a little sketchy ourselves of the health impact differences between the chemical and naturally derived MSG variations however researchers believe that it is the chemically manufactured MSG that is the biggest problem.

Whether or not all of Vegemite's ‘Yeast Extract’ is naturally derived MSG is an unknown because like we said, the labeling laws prevent the need to disclose. One thing is for sure though and that is Kraft (the manufacturers) are remaining coy with whether Vegemite contains added synthetic MSG in it's 'flavours'. They won't deny or confirm it.

If you have a look at the ingredients list on Promite…wowsers…. now that is one looonng list of chemically based ingredients and there is no doubt in our mind that the MSG there would be chemically derived. Get the hell away from that stuff!

It’s time to get savvy and do the research on what you buy folks otherwise you will be fooled into thinking a ‘health food’ is healthy because it is ‘packed with B vitamins’. Those b vitamins by the way are synthetic and will never be absorbed by the body. They just pass right on through with zero benefit.

Hidden MSG Names: Glutamate (E 620) Monosodium Glutamate (E 621) Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622) Calcium Glutamate (E 623) Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624) Magnesium Glutamate (E 625) Natrium Glutamate Yeast Extract Anything hydrolyzed Any hydrolyzed protein Calcium Caseinate Sodium Caseinate Yeast Food Yeast Nutrient Autolyzed Yeast Textured Protein Soy Protein Isolate Whey Protein Isolate

It’s a bit scary isn’t it.

MSG should totally be avoided because of these reasons-

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • neck pain
  • migraine
  • asthma
  • hives
  • restlessness
  • heart palpitations
  • nausea
  • irritability
  • pins & needles
  • depression
  • hyperactivity
  • sleeplessness
  • mood changes

Test yourself out and see if you happen to be sensitive to MSG in all it’s forms or just some. If you are prone to headaches and you eat the ‘mite’ on a daily basis, you might be surprised that you feel better once it’s gone.

Now that's not all that Vegemite has going for it. You know that dark brown colour right- that is 'Colour 150C'.

Colour 150C is thought to be genetically modified is prepared from ammonia compounds is linked to gastrointestinal problems. liver problems and is recommended to be avoided in food for infants. (Source – The Chemical Maze – Bill Statham).

Then there is the ubiquitous word 'Flavours'. By law a company does not have to list what actually makes up their 'flavours' and generally speaking we find that more than 150 different synthetic chemical compounds make up that flavour which can be known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or neurotoxins. Creepy hey. Vegemite 'flavour' is comprised of 48 synthetic compounds including solvents and diactyls. Hmmmmmm.....

Want an awesome all natural Vegemite replacement that is honestly packed with Vitamin B’s, Calcium and good fats to nourish your brain and heart??

We created this recipe one morning after craving Vegemite on toast and having none in the house. Little did we know it would be snapped up by the lovely Audrey from The Unconventional Baker and go world wide!

It's SO easy to whip up and you will absolutely love it.


1 cup of Black Tahini

4 Tablespoons of Tamari

2 Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Cream

1 Teaspoon of Maple Syrup


Simply mix everything together in your chosen blender until it's smooth and creamy.

Now tell us that doesn't taste like Vegemite!


Give it a crack and let us know what you think.

Otherwise, raw unpasteurised Miso Paste is the bomb as well.

For more detailed information on the MSG story read here, here and here.

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