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Sodium glutamate

Глутамат натрия

Sodium glutamate (food additive E621) is a glutamic acid derivative that increases the sensitivity of human taste buds. The additive comes in the form of a white powder that dissolves well in the water.

Bound glutamate can be found in many cells, but it must be detached from the protein component to act as a taste enhancer. In the industry, E621 is produced by means of microbiological fermentation of raw materials (starch, sugar cane, etc.). Yeasts are actively involved in fermentation.

In some countries, the additive is introduced prior to consumption. The effect of glutamate persists for 20 minutes after meal.

Glutamate Effects
  • enhances the natural taste of products that have decreased during processing
  • masks undesirable specific odors
  • forms the taste and flavor of meat in the manufacture of products that are not based on raw meat
  • harmonizes the final taste and reduces the dosage of flavorings
  • preserves the product taste longer
Areas of Application
  • sausages
  • smoked meats
  • meat cuts, pâtés
  • whole-muscle products
  • restructured meat products
  • liver products
  • instant broths and soups
  • convenience food
  • frozen semi-finished products
  • canned food
  • fish products
  • snacks
  • sauces

Method of Application

E621 can be added together with salt, the dosage of the latter being reduced by about 10%. Complex mixes of glutamate with other additives are marketed, which is cost-effective for the manufacturer of the final product.

Safety issues

E621 is approved for use in Russia but strict adherence to the dosage is required. An overabundance of glutamate can lead to negative consequences, such as weakness, tachycardia, a feeling of numbness in the back and the back of the head, allergic reactions, a decrease in the taste sensitivity of the tongue buds.

However, it should be remembered that the object of research is pure glutamate and not the complex composition of products containing this additive. That is why, when assessing all risks, one should take into account the calorie content of the dishes and their general composition, using all these factors to evaluate the food additives.