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Does Kentucky Fried Chicken Use MSG?

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a common food additive used as a flavor enhancer in many fast food restaurants and processed foods. However, there are ongoing debates about its health effects and calls for companies to remove it from their ingredients. So what about popular chicken chains like KFC?

Does Kentucky Fried Chicken Use MSG? The Short Answer

According to KFC, their original recipe fried chicken does not contain added MSG. However, some menu items may contain naturally occurring glutamate or added MSG from other ingredients. Customers with MSG concerns should inquire about specific menu items.

Related post: Does Kentucky fried chicken take EBT cards?

Does Kentucky Fried Chicken Use MSG? The Long Answer

KFC states on their website that their traditional Original Recipe chicken is made with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, without any added MSG. However, they do note that there are naturally occurring free glutamates in ingredients like tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and soy sauce.

Some KFC menu items also contain additives that may contain MSG, like textured vegetable protein. MSG is sometimes found in fast food condiments like ranch dressing as well. So while the fried chicken itself may not contain added MSG, other ingredients could be sources of glutamate.

KFC recommends that customers concerned about MSG sensitivities or restrictions should ask about specific products, as menu items vary by location. They encourage checking directly with your local KFC restaurant for the most up-to-date ingredient information.

How does MSG affect the body?

MSG is a popular additive because it enhances umami or savory flavors in foods. Umami is considered one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter. When MSG is added to foods, it boosts flavor intensity.

The effects of MSG on health have long been controversial. Short-term studies show that large doses can cause headache, flushing, sweating, and heart palpitations in some people. However, many major health organizations like the FDA and EFSA consider MSG safe for consumption at typical exposure levels.

One concern has been that glutamate in MSG could act as an excitotoxin, overstimulating nerve cells to the point of damage. But scientists who reviewed multiple studies found no definitive evidence linking typical MSG consumption to neurological disorders or major health problems.

While more research is still needed, most experts consider MSG safe for the general population at regular dietary levels. However, some people may experience intolerances or allergic reactions to additives like MSG. Monitoring personal reactions and limiting intake can help manage sensitivities.

The Bottom Line

Does KFC use MSG? While their traditional original recipe fried chicken does not contain added MSG, some menu items may get glutamate from other ingredients. People with MSG concerns may want to ask about specific products when dining at KFC. Limiting processed food intake and reading labels can also help reduce exposure from additives like MSG.

FAQs
Does Chick-Fil-A have MSG?

According to Chick-Fil-A, their chicken items do not contain added MSG. However, some menu items may contain naturally occurring glutamates or MSG from condiments and additives. They advise checking ingredients for menu items of concern.

Does Popeyes use MSG?

Popeyes states on their website that while they do not add MSG to their core food items, some ingredients used in select menu options may contain naturally occurring glutamates. Customers should check directly with their local restaurant for ingredient information.

Is MSG naturally present in foods?

Yes, glutamate is found naturally in ingredients like tomatoes, cheeses, mushrooms and soy sauce. MSG originally became a popular additive because it mimics glutamate found in savory, umami-rich foods.

What foods have the most MSG?

Some foods with higher natural or added MSG include broths/stocks, sauces, chips, fast food, canned foods, frozen dinners, seasoning mixes and salty snacks. It’s also commonly added to Chinese food and fast food.

Does MSG sensitivity cause headaches?

In some people, large amounts of MSG may trigger headaches, although controlled studies have had mixed results. For those with sensitivities, limiting MSG intake from processed foods and additives can help reduce the occurrence of headaches.

 

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