My husband loves hot sauce on a lot of things. He recently bought a bottle of Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce with an innocuous ingredients label of Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, and Garlic Powder. Because I am so paranoid about things having MSG in them, I decided to check the website for this brand to see if there is MSG in it. The stuff's been made since 1898 (according to their advertising), so I figured it was pretty safe.
Guess what? The ingredients listed on Franks website for this very same sauce include another ingredient NOT on the product label! It's "natural flavors".
When a label says "natural flavors", you should not trust it. Often it means something(s) in the ingredients has been processed so as to form "free glutamic acid", which is basically MSG. So EVEN IF A PRODUCT IS ADVERTISED AS HAVING NO MSG--which many manufacturers claim now that folks are on to the neurotoxic dangers of MSG--it very likely could have it if you are dealing with a food processed in any way.
Here's a portion from http://www.truthinlabeling.org/nomsg.html
If you write or call to ask whether or not there is MSG in a product...
If you want to find out if there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in a product, you must ask the manufacturer for information about "free glutamic acid." Don't ask about "MSG." Manufacturers find it convenient, when speaking to consumers, to tell them that there is no "MSG" in their product, meaning that there is no ingredient called "monosodium glutamate." Even if a manufacturer tells you there is no MSG in a product, there may be autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed pea protein, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, enzymes, and a whole slew of other ingredients that contain or create processed free glutamic acid (MSG) during manufacture.
If you are told that all of the MSG in a product is "naturally occurring," thank the manufacturer for that meaningless information, but explain that all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is referred to as "natural" by the FDA -- so "natural" tells you nothing. In fact, as the word "natural" is defined by the FDA, the food ingredient "monosodium glutamate" is "natural."
It is the amount of processed free glutamic acid in the product that will determine whether or not you might suffer an MSG reaction. (Everyone has a different tolerance for MSG.) If the manufacturer claims not to know whether or not there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in his or her product, ask that the product be analyzed for free amino acids, including free glutamic acid. There are tests for measuring free glutamic acid. The AOAC Official Methods of Analysis (1984) gives one method. There are others. The cost of testing should be no more than $150.
We have been advised by the FDA that if any such misbranded products are brought to their attention, they will act to correct the situation. To report misbranded products to the FDA, please call the FDA at 888-723-3366 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., eastern time - and keep a record of your call.
****I've now written to the Frank's Red Hot sauce company to ask if this product has "free glutamic acid". I'll let y'all know
if/what they respond.
--Nancy in TN