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The Weigh it Is

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Media Reports and Letters Related to the Issue » The Weigh it Is « Previous Next »

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Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 1:14 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

From today's Connecticut Post On-line at

THE WEIGH IT IS --- Sheryl Wolff Kayne
What exactly is natural flavoring?
I've been wondering about this for a long time: What exactly is a natural flavor? The official government definition, Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations says: "The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional." In other words, natural flavors can be just about anything and everything ever approved for use in food.
What bothers me most is that the meat flavorings are all thrown in with the other flavorings and there's no way for the consumer to differentiate between the two. I don't know about you, but the thought of chicken flavoring in my tapioca isn't too appealing.
You're thinking, "Don't be silly! A food manufacturer wouldn't do that because chicken and tapioca just don't go together." My Granny Fanny used to always say, "The rich salty tanginess of chicken soup makes everything taste better, even cardboard," so you never know what exactly is in your Jell-o, gravy, or mashed potatoes.
Spices you might not want can be "natural," like MSG. warns consumers that "autolyzed yeast and natural flavoring in organic products contain just as much free glutamic acid (MSG) as conventional products." I can taste it through globs of multiple spices. MSG is a natural flavor that many people are allergic to. It used to appear primarily in Chinese foods and spice combinations, but it's in many places you'd least expect it. Last week a "house salad dressing" in a Pennsylvania restaurant and I had an unfortunate encounter.
"There's MSG on this salad!" I gasped and begged for water.
"Yes!" chirped the waitress. "How'd you know that?" Some manufacturers, such as Celestial Seasonings, emphasize that they do not use natural flavors derived from protein hydrolysate, edible yeast, meat, seafood, poultry or eggs, which are considered "savory" or meat flavors. Beef fat wouldn't add much to Sleepytime Tea, except a little unwanted heartburn.
Celestial Seasonings does enhance its teas with natural flavors, or flavor blending as they call it. We all assume they are using fruity flavors, but who's to know? There's no protection for any of us against what any food producer can and can't do, since so many options fall under one "natural flavorings" umbrella.

Sheryl Wolff Kayne writes on alternate Thursdays. She can be reached by e-mail at
Lisa Marie
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 3:00 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good article, thanks for posting it! I am expecially interested that she can taste it, because I can also. It is a strong, almost garlic flavor and it makes my taste buds stand up. If I even get a bite of it, then ANYTHING else I put in my mouth after that tastes vague and my tongue continues to feel like it is coated for several house. I detest MSG! It needs to be illegal.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 4:07 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lisa Marie,

I agree. Click on or scroll down to story #9 at the link below:
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 5:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Please write to Sheryl at to thank her and to encourage her to keep educating the public about our plight. (I wrote to Sheryl Wolff Kayne and suggested she check out our discussions here and visit Carol H.'s site at
Roy - Interesting. I wonder if Myanmar is only concerned with MSG that comes from Thailand. There is alot of conflict between the two countries.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 6:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Myanmar seems to be concerned about MSG from all sources per my post on Wednesday, December 04, 2002:

"Realizing that monosodium glutamate is hazardous to health, the State is launching public education campaigns to stop monosodium glutamate consumption among the people. It closed the State-owed monosodium glutamate factory in 1999. In this manner, the Minister for Industry-1 made arrangements to rerun the closed factory for the benefit of the nation. In accord with the directives of the minister, the experts conducted research work continuously starting December 1999 and found a method to produce glucose powder from tapioca powder. The Myanmar engineers without the help of foreign experts transformed the monosodium glutamate producing machines into glucose producing machines. In this way, the Soon-oak brand glucose powder has appeared in the markets beginning July 2000.

The households are using the Soon-oak brand glucose powder as the flavouring and taste enhancing agent in substitution for monosodium glutamate."
Deb A.
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 11:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MEMorris, I wrote and thanked Sheryl for her article and invited her to visit us here, too. Thanks for sharing it.
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 2:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Descriptions of pubs their atmospheresxwb

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