The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Free Glutamic Acid help please

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Aideuis's picture

Free Glutamic Acid help please

      My wife has developed an allergy/intolerance to free glutamates.  I asked earlier about flours that did not contain malted barley, have found one and am now ready to get baking.  Through my research I have found that when yeast autolyzes it releases free glutamates, I have also seen that bacterial fermentation can release glutamic acid.  I understand that glutamic acid is naturally occuring and when it is bound to proteins and in a complex form it is proccessed safely and un noticed by the body.  My question is when I stop the growth of yeast during the baking process will enough free glutamates occur to cause a reaction, I understand that different people tolerate different exposure levels but my wife is pregnant and we do not want to take any chances.  I also have a secondary concern with using my active dry commercial yeast, have some of the yeast cells already begun to autolyze and release free glutamates, how much should I use, is freshness a concern?  Would I be better off using my sourdough culture where the yeast is assisted by bacterial fermentation.  This started about three weeks ago and she wants bread!  Is it chemical leavening from now on, and how do I make a mich or baguett with that.  Any advice, book recommendations, websites relevant would be greatly appreacited.        


Yerffej's picture

I hope that I can be of some help here.  First of all, MSG is a neurotoxin that acts directly on the brain.  The reaction is not one of an allergy or intolerance, but rather the body reacting to a toxic or poisonous substance.  Like so many naturally occuring substances, there is a significant difference between naturally occuring glutamates and the highly concentrated form of glutamic acid that is the culprit in toxic reactions.  In a rather successful attempt to hide free glutamic acid in many many foods, a seemingly endless list of names have been used other than to MSG.  I have provided a few links for you on this subject.

With regard to sourdough in bread, sourdough is an infinitely healthier product over a commercially yeasted bread.  I say this not with regard to glutamic acid but with reference to the acid yeast balance present in sourdough that is beneficial for the human body.  For this reason I bake only sourdough breads.  I am not aware of adverse reactions to yeasted breads as a result of glutamic acid but I would guess that the posibility exists.  Far more likely is a reaction to any processed food, most of which contain some form of free glutamic acid.

I have been aware of, and dealt with, the MSG issue for more than a decade and hope that some of what I have presented here will help you and your wife.  As she is pregnant I suggest that you raise your level of awareness with regard to anything you eat and be especially wary of any form of free glutamic acid and additionally artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that are equally dangerous.