No glutamate syndrome after daycare



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Health authorities have not been able to confirm suspicion of too much glutamate after daycare

After nine toddlers showed reddening and sometimes swelling on their faces shortly after eating in a Hamburg daycare center, the Institute for Hygiene and the Environment examined samples of the food. After that, the first suspicion of the emergency doctor, who suspected an overreaction to too much glutamate in the food, was not confirmed. The glutamate content was well below the permitted maximum. Further investigations should now bring certainty.

A glutamate content of 1.5 g / kg was found in the food sample from the day care center (cheese spaetzle with organic tomato sauce). This relatively low concentration can already be achieved through the glutamic acid that occurs naturally in cheese and tomatoes. Glutamate can also be used as a flavor enhancer, with no more than 10 grams of glutamic acid added per kilogram of food. It is different with organic products. Here, glutamate may occur in natural concentrations, but may not be added as a flavor enhancer. Sensitive people can react to high glutamate concentrations with reddened skin, itching in the throat, sensation of heat, headache and nausea ("China Restaurant Syndrome"). To examine a different relationship between children's symptoms and eating, more research is being done. (pm)

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