Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published: March 2017. Next review: 2024.

Allergy diet - glutamate low

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that excludes foods naturally high in free glutamate, and food additives containing glutamate.


Avoids the flavour enhancers 620-625 and natural glutamates such as strong cheeses (Parmesan, Camembert, Brie and Gruyere), soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean sauce, tomato sauce, miso, yeast spread, mushrooms, plums and spinach.


Glutamate intolerance.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. Care should be taken to read all product ingredient lists to look for ingredients containing the following flavour enhancers: monosodium glutamate (MSG, 621) and related flavour compounds (620, 622, 623, 624, 625, 627, 631, 635, 636, 637, 640, 641), hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP), textured vegetable protein (TVP). If a product lists an ingredient as flavour, without a detailed additive description or code, the product should not be used in this diet.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesAll plain cooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs and legumes

Casserole dishes made with commercial stocks and flavour enhancers, or tomato paste

Dishes containing tomato, mushrooms, spinach or peas

Sauces, graviesPlain white sauce

Soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, tomato sauces

Cheese sauces and black bean sauce

Gravies made with stock cubes

Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll potato, pasta, plain rice, noodles, couscous, quinoa, semolinaCommercial flavoured noodles and savoury rice
VegetablesAll others

Spinach, tomato, mushrooms or peas

Pickled vegetables

Soups All others - check label

Commercial condensed soups

Soups with mushroom, tomato or peas

Sandwiches All others


Salads, dressings

Most salad ingredients

Plain salad dressing (oil and vinegar) and mayonnaise – check labels

Tomatoes, mushrooms, parmesan cheese

Commercial salad dressings

Breads, cereals All others Breads and cereals containing dried fruit
SpreadsJam, honey, peanut butterYeast spread, pickles and chutney
Hot breakfast choices All others

Mushrooms, tomatoes, canned spaghetti, baked beans

Any dishes made with tomato or peas (e.g. savoury mince)

FruitAll othersPlums, grapes and dried fruit
Yoghurt All-
DessertsCakes and desserts containing allowed ingredients All others, e.g. cakes and desserts containing dried fruit
Milk and cheese

All milks

Most mild cheeses

Hard aged cheese, e.g. parmesan

Camembert, blue vein cheese, Brie and Gruyere

BeveragesAll othersVegetable juice
BiscuitsBiscuits and crackers containing allowed ingredientsAll others, e.g. biscuits and crackers containing dried fruit or parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, sweetener, sugar, cream, nuts



  1. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH Food Intolerance Handbook, Volume I: Diagnostic elimination diet. Sydney: RPAH 2016.
  2. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH Food Intolerance Handbook, Volume II: Challenges, liberalizing and maintenance. Sydney: RPAH 2016.
  3. Swain AR, Soutter VL, Loblay RH. Friendly food: the complete guide to avoiding allergies, additives and problem chemicals. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2004.
  4. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Monosodium glutamate: a safety assessment. Technical Report Series No 20. Canberra: FSANZ; 2003.
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