Bouillon has a tasty umami flavor, as does soy sauce. The umami in bouillon can come from added MSG (monosodium glutamate), while the umami in soy sauce is said to arise from naturally occurring glutamates.

What is the amount of MSG or naturally occurring glutamates in bouillon and soy sauce?

  • In their concentrated forms
  • Diluted in common stock recipes

Does one tend to have more? I’m looking for absolute mgs and percent!

  • 4
    (Sorry to nitpick, but bullion or bouillon? I know you can use gold to make cake decoration, but stock…?)
    – gidds
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 18:29
  • 1
    Maybe ask a chemist to analyse them in a lab, or contact the manufacturer and ask them.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 18:41
  • Not sure this is possible to answer. For soy sauce, there are many varieties, and those various versions produced in many different countries. Further, in soy sauce there are a variety of amino acids that contribute to umami...free glutimates are only a portion of this. Secondly, bouillon concentrate generally has MSG added, but might also contain ingredients with amino acids. Unless you do a chemical analysis of one product, it would be almost impossible to arrive at "absolute msg and percent."
    – moscafj
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Just answering the "soy sauce" part of your question. The "bouillon" part of your question is completely unanswerable given the vast range of products that call themselves bouillon. For that, read the package.

For soy sauce, there's a paper. Naturally fermented soy sauces contain l-glutamic acid, rather than MSG, and they contain between 8.77 and 147.98 mg/mL of it (note the very wide range there). If you want an exhaustive treatment of everything that's in your soy sauce, read the rest of the paper.

  • Saw that one...interesting paper. Wide range, and that is just in the "10 samples of Chinese -style soy sauce available in Chinese markets in 2016."
    – moscafj
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 11:33
  • The packaging of bouillon where I live doesn’t give me the mg of MSG, so reading the packing doesn’t help. Must be journal articles or FDA documents that note the avg amount of MSG in various bouillon products? Thanks for the soy sauce paper link.
    – milo
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 14:41
  • Milo: no, there mustn't. While the FDA does have an online food database, but it just has generic values, not a range of products -- and those generic values don't measure MSG: fdc.nal.usda.gov
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 18:09
  • Further, while bouillon cubes are obviously bouillon, there are many products where it's a matter of opinion, including soup powder, concentrated canned stock, demi-glace, etc.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 18:46

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