Flavours & Flavour Enhancers E620-E640

Flavours are additives that give food a particular taste or smell, and may be derived from natural ingredients or created artificially.

Flavour enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) enhance a food's existing flavours. They are commonly added to commercially produced food products (e.g. frozen dinners, instant soups, snack foods) to make them taste more 'savoury'.

Number Name Comments
E620 Glutamic acid flavour enhancer, salt substitute; amino acid present in many animal and vegetable proteins, derived commercially from bacteria; might cause similar problems as MSG(621), young children should avoid it
E621 Monosodium glutamate (MSG) flavour enhancer derived from the fermentation of molasses, salt substitute; adverse effects appear in some asthmatic people, not permitted in foods for infants and young children; typical products are canned vegetables, canned tuna, dressings, many frozen foods
E622 Monopotassium glutamate can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps; typical products are low sodium salt substitutes
E623 Calcium diglutamate salt substitute, no known adverse effects
E624 Monoammonium glutamate salt substitute, no known adverse effects
E625 Magnesium diglutamate salt substitute, no known adverse effects
E626 Guanylic acid may trigger gout
E627 Disodium guanylate isolated from sardines or yeast extract; may trigger gout, not permitted in foods for infants and young children
E629 Calcium guanylate may trigger gout
E631 Disodium inosinate may be prepared from meat or sardines; may trigger gout, not permitted in foods for infants and young children
E633 Calcium inosinate may trigger gout
E635 Disodium 5'-ribonucleotide may be associated with itchy skin rashes up to 30 hours after ingestion; rashes may vary from mild to dramatic; the reaction is dose-related and cumulative, some individuals are more sensitive than others; typical foods include flavoured chips, instant noodles and party pies; avoid it, banned in some countries
E636 Maltol derived from the bark of larch trees, pine needles, chicory wood, oils and roasted malt; it may be produced synthetically
E637 Ethyl maltol derived from maltol
E640 Glycine & its sodium salt ?

* Hyperactive Children Support Group (HACSG)
** Food and Drug Administration (U.S.)

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