Glutamate is a natural product of plant protein. Meat, fish, vegetables and milk - ie food containing proteins - contain the nutrient that is indispensable for many important life functions: it helps to build up and disintegrate body cells, strengthens the nerves and supports brain function.
Glutamate is even part of breast milk. It is also produced in the human body, especially in the nerve cells of the brain. There it serves - as a so-called neurotransmitter - the information transfer.
The extraction of glutamate
Glutamate was first isolated from kelp in Asia 90 years ago. In addition to the four traditional flavors sweet, sour, salty and bitter, there is another one called "umami" since then. The term "umami" (Japanese: "delicacy") describes the taste of glutamate.
Through the small addition of glutamate, the most diverse taste impressions can be strengthened. Although it has hardly any taste, but develops as an addition to food its full effect.
These benefits are used by the food industry, and so glutamate is part of many everyday foods, such as dough soups, chips, sausage.
The excessive consumption of glutamate is attributed to the so-called "China Restaurant Syndrome", an allergic food reaction: The symptoms that occur about 15 to 60 minutes after consumption include headache, sweating and palpitations.