Is l-glutamic acid (E620) harmful to us? Read more about her!

L-glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid bound to protein , which is commonly found in plants, but also in the human and animal body, where it is necessary for ensuring various functions of the organism. It is found naturally in foods such as cheese, meat, milk, mushrooms and soybeans. As a food additive, it is widely used as a flavor enhancer in meaty or spicy flavored products.

These are colorless or white crystals or crystalline powder.

Main important points about E620 – L-glutamic acid:
May cause allergic reactions.
Not suitable for children.
It is allowed in the Czech Republic.
We do not recommend.

Production E620

L-glutamic acid is commercially prepared from molasses by bacterial fermentation or also from plant proteins such as gluten or soy protein. It is produced industrially by hydrolytic cleavage of vegetable proteins (soy) or fermentation of potato or cereal starch or from molasses.

What is l-glutamic acid used for?

L-glutamic acid has a specific umami flavor and enhances many other flavors, reducing the amount of salt needed in the product.

Examples of foods and drinks that sometimes contain E620:

  • seasoning mix
  • soy sauce
  • instant meals
  • canned foods
  • ice cream
  • meat products
  • fish products
  • sausages
  • potato chips

Is E620 healthy?

Although many side effects have been reported with glutamates, they have not been scientifically proven.

The most commonly reported potential side effects include blood in the urine, changes in skin color, chills, cold hands and feet, confusion, cough, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, fainting, fast heartbeat, fever, hives, pain in the arms or legs, swelling of the face, shortness of breath, stomach pain, wheezing or unusual tiredness or weakness.

However, if you don’t overdo it with foods that contain E620, you shouldn’t be in any danger.

On the contrary, l-glutamic acid also has health benefits if you use it in a reasonable amount:

  • improves muscle function and accelerates recovery after training
  • supports healthier bowel function
  • strengthens immunity
  • is good for healthier and stronger bones
  • induces a feeling of satiety
  • improves brain function

Use in the EU vs. USA vs. world

In the food industry, E620 in the EU can be used in limited quantities in food, with the exception of soft drinks and baby food up to 3 years. In the USA, the substance is allowed.