- FISH ALLERGY
Disodium guanylate (GMP) is a chemical additive, which enhances or intensifies savory flavors. It is used in combination with monosodium glutamate (MSG) to make MSG more powerful. This combination of additives can commonly be found in the instant noodle flavor packet, in cured meats, salty snacks, and in restaurant food. Disodium guanylate is expensive, and it is never used alone. If it appears in the ingredient list, and MSG is not there, then free glutamic acid (the essential component of MSG) will be there in some form. Manufacturers are aware that many consumers wish to avoid MSG so they now replicate it using different formulas.
Disodium guanylate is the salt of a nucleotide, which actually occurs naturally in the body. When it is produced industrially as an additive, it is obtained from fish or seaweed or microbial fermentation. The Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to refer to disodium guanylate as, "natural flavor". But the substance obtained from a natural source is chemically engineered and highly refined to arrive at the final product.
Other Use and Industries
Disodium guanylate does not have any significant detrimental or beneficial health effects apart from providing a good taste to food. It may be used to reduce the sodium chloride content in packaged foods and yet preserve taste, to prevent excess dietary consumption of table salt. Disodium guanylate, by itself, is not toxic as long term studies on dogs show. However, since it is used in conjunction with monosodium glutamate, consumption of foods containing disodium guanylate may lead to development of the MSG Symptom Complex.
Disodium guanylate is a substance usually made from fish which is related to MSG. It is not safe for infants under 12 weeks old.
Disodium guanylate is the salt of a nucleotide which occurs naturally in the body as part of the DNA molecule and in other metabolic roles. For commercial use as an additive, disodium guanylate is synthesized from a precursor molecule obtained by the microbial fermentation of starch. Any starch may be used, typically it is tapioca. Microorganisms, commonly yeast, secrete the nucleotide precursor molecule, which is reacted with other chemicals to produce the final product. It is then isolated from the culture medium by centrifugation and filtering and crystallized. The disodium guanylate precursor may also be obtained from fish or seaweed and similarly processed.