Glutamate Definition

What is glutamate?

Glutamate as the esters and salts of the glutamic acid can be referred to. Especially salts of L-glutamic acid are known for their use as a flavor enhancer in foods. The simple sodium salt is mentioned monosodium glutamate (E 621) and is the most widely used. Also approved are monopotassium glutamate (E 622), calcium glutamate (E 623), monoammonium glutamate (E 624), GUANYLIC (E 625). Glutamate as supplements by the additive Regulation approving most of the food up to a maximum amount of 10 g / kg (expressed as glutamic acid) admitted.

Use as a flavor enhancer

Glutamic acid was first isolated in 1866 by the German chemist Heinrich Ritthausen from wheat gluten. 1908 saw the Japanese researchers Kikunae Ikeda its importance for the quality of taste. He examined the cause of the particular flavor of cheese, meat and tomatoes, but is not covered by the four known sweet flavors, sour, salty and bitter. He was able to extract from the seaweed used in Japan in the kitchen kombu glutamate, and demonstrate that glutamate is responsible for the specific umami taste. Together with the Industrial Saburosuke Suzuki, he founded to commercialize his discovery later, the company Ajinomoto. Today, monosodium glutamate is mainly in Southeast Asia biotechnology (fermentation) by the bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum produced (1.7 million tons per year).

The amino acid L-glutamic acid is found naturally in virtually all protein-containing foods. In normal mixed diet daily glutamate uptake therefore is 8-12 g. For healthy people, the use of L-glutamates is safe and is in no way conflicts with a healthy diet. A glutamate-rich diet has no effect on the cerebral L-glutamate concentration, the effect on blood glutamate levels corresponding to the normal physiological fluctuation.

In the 1940s, was administered to 40 g L-Glutamate per day due to a fashion demam isu hundreds of children for months for alleged mental performance enhancement. Despite this high dose neither performance-enhancing or toxic effects have been reported.

Health reviews

In case of hypersensitivity is suspected that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the causative agent of the Chinese restaurant syndrome. Although one can not exclude the possibility that there are people who are sensitive to MSG, but was it in 1987 in a double-blind study by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the World Health Organization (WHO) to persons who claim to suffer from the Chinese restaurant syndrome are not found to be the cause.

Scientific studies in humans have been detected no immediate harmful effects of glutamate. The DFG Senate Commission on the Food Safety (SKLM) has let reported in a statement in April 2005 that, using the customary amounts of glutamate in food neurotoxic effects are not to be feared.

Critics such as the Heidelberg neuroscientists Konrad Beyreuther or the Association of Independent health counseling Glutamate look at existing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis as critical. However, a related exogenous glutamate recorded with these chronic diseases has not been proven and is considered unlikely. For the Kiel pediatrician Michael Hermanussen glutamate is a substance that makes greedy, because it affects the appetite regulation in the brain. But a meaningful study of obesity and the role of glutamate is not yet available. Since 2010, an interaction between glutamate and prostate cancer is suspected. Accordingly, excessive consumption of glutamate leads to an increased death of prostate cells and consequently to an increase in prostate cell production, whereby possibly at least glutamate can accelerate the growth of an existing prostate tumor.

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