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What are Salicylates, Amines and Glutamates?


  • Are a family of plant chemicals found naturally in many fruit and vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea, juices, beers and wines.
  • Salicylates are chemicals that act as plants natural defence against pests.
  • Levels are higher in unripe fruits and decrease with ripening
  • Also found in flavourings (peppermint), perfumes, scented toiletries, toothpaste, eucalyptus oil and some medications
  • Asprin is a member of the salicylate family.


  • Are derived from the breakdown of protein or from fermentation
  • Large amounts are found in cheese, ripe bananas, dark chocolate, yeast extracts, beer, wine and fish
  • Certain fruit and vegetables also contain amines


  • Glutamate are neuro excitatory
  • Glutamates are the building block of all protein (eg amino acid)
  • In its free form (ie not protein) it enhances the flavour of food
  • Natural glutamate is found in tomato, cheese (parmesan), mushrooms and sauces
  • MSG (mono sodium glutamate) is an additive that increases the flavour in soups, sauces, asian cooking and snack food.

For further information on salicylates, amines and glutamate please refer to the following resources:

Friendly Food – Dr Anne Swain

Fed Up – Sue Dengate

The Failsafe Cookbook – Sue Dengate


Kathleen Daalmeyer’s website “Additive Alert”