Enzymes are another way to add MSG (free glutamic acid) to foods and make it sound more natural. The food manufacturers don’t need to list “Monosodium Glutamate” or anything else that might sound scary to the consumer. Don’t “Enzymes” and “Vegetable Enzymes” sound innocent and natural? That’s exactly why some natural food manufacturers like WholeFoods and Trader Joes have started to use these forms of MSG (free glutamate/glutamic acid) in their products.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze chemical reactions. Almost all enzymes are proteins. Enzymes are used for protein modifications and protein hydrolysis of animal or vegetable raw materials, e.g. whey, casein, soy etc. at neutral and alkaline pH values. High degrees of hydrolysis can be achieved without bitter taste formation in foods processed with enzymes.
How are Enzymes used to create MSG?
Enzymes are added to proteins (vegetable or animal) during the food manufacturing process to hydrolyze and break down the proteins, releasing the amino acids from their peptide binding creating free amino acids, including Glutamate (MSG). Glutamate when bound by peptides in protein are called L-Glutamate which is the harmless version of glutamate, your body processes it slowly and naturally. When the proteins are broken down during food processing it is broken from it’s natural protein and it then called D-Glutamate, this is the bad version which is called MSG (free glutamate/free glutamic acid and better known as monosodium glutamate without the added sodium molecule anyway).