Is Marmite full of MSG?

Homemade Organic Gluten-Free "Vegemite" {Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

This blog is based off the unconventional bakers blog.

The short answer is yes, there are glutamates in all of the ‘mites (Marmite, Vegemite, Promite).   I actually made a call to Sanitarium to check the ingredients, as the blog mentioned that ingredients under 1gm don’t have to be disclosed on labels.  They said, no – no MSG or glutamate additives.  So where didthis whole MSG-gate come from?

How are the ‘mites’ made? 

Salt is added to yeast which is grown on barley or wheat.  (This is why the mites are NOT considered gluten free).  This causes the cell to dry up and self destruct.  Chemical enzymes are added to kill the yeast cells outright.  Refining processes are used to leave a paste high in glutamic acid.  At this point, there is no difference between this and MSG – they are functionally identical.

Umami – MSG – and can 1 tsp on my toast harm me?

The ‘umami’ taste of MSG is what attracts us to products like marmite.  Umami is a Japanese word that describes one of the 5 taste sensations.  Its refers to a pleasant savoury  taste.  What you probably didn’t know is that the pleasant taste we all love is due to receptors specific to glutamate.  Glutamates are present in a number of foods like meat broths and fermented foods.  It’s delicious!    Having a bit of MSG is not likely to hurt most people.  However to those that are sensitive or allergic it can cause massive issues.  In studies its claimed to be linked to autism, obesity and inflammation.

Yes there are studies on both mice and humans to prove some of the above.  I guess I’m more interested in the personal stories of Mums with children whose behaviour has signficantly improved from removing Marmite and MSG from their diet and suchlike.  You can read about some of these in the references below.

FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.

Vegemite has WAAAY less sugar!

Marmite is just over 11% sugar

Promite is 18% sugar  (shock horror)

Vegemite is far better at only 2.2% sugar

More importantly – what about the sugar content???

Unfortunately if you’re trying to lower your sugar consumption Kiwi’s, it looks like our favourite spread has been outsmarted in the sugar stakes by Vegemite.

All of these yeast spreads are full of B vitamins.  But whats the skinny on the rest of the ingredients?

Whats inside?  

  • Marmite contains 15% of the daily recommended intake of iron.  Vegemite does not.
  • All contain barley and wheat derivatives so not suitable for coeliacs
  • All contain corn maltodextrin – a polysaccharide (and carbohydrate) that is derived from corn or wheat (corn in this case), is high glycemic, highly processed.  However according to healthline, its the high sugar content that is of most risk to diabetics and those with blood sugar issues.
  • Promite has a huge list of additives – so that’s why it tastes so good.  Immediate strike off any future grocery list.



Its fair to say that the ‘mites are highly processed.  As usual, its not the teaspoon of your preferred ‘mite on toast – its a diet high in all that processed, packaged, sugary crap that will harm.  But I have to say, I was very surprised of some of the facts in my research, particularly the huge difference in sugar content.  And now to my big omission – don’t hate me..I’m a closet vegemite lover…eek…

Click here for a list of how MSG can be hidden in your food.

Home made Marmite

  • ½ cup black tahini sesame butter
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process into a creamy and smooth consistency {I used my magic bullet because it’s such a small batch and it worked perfectly! An immersion blender would be the next best way to go in my opinion}. Store in the fridge. Lightly spread on {non-dairy} buttery {gf} toast and enjoy!






The unconventional baker



Natural news

Science direct

The Smithsonian

My goodness organics

American Nutrition Association


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