Is 635 vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, ” Is 635 vegan?” and will discuss the composition and side effects of E635.

Is 635 vegan?

E635 can be vegan or not. E635 is a taste enhancer that may be added to meals. Inosinic Acid and Guanylic Acid salts form E635 — also known as Disodium 5′-Ribonucleotides. Sodium salts are often found in animal carcasses, but they may also be found in plants. It’s best to get in touch with your manufacturer. However, most of these compounds are today extracted from yeasts and therefore, are vegan (1).

With the use of such flavor enhancers, reduction of sodium in the formulation of food is possible. Some successful sodium reduction strategies have been showcased in various food products including applications toward meat products. In beef patties, straight sodium chloride reduction by 50% (0.5% NaCl) along with a 20% (40% w/w) decrease in fat (as compared with typical commercial patties in the U.K. and Ireland) produced beef patties with the highest scores for overall acceptability (6).

How to make Flavor Enhancer 635?

Nucleosides are composed of a nitrogenous base (purine or pyrimidine) and a pentose (ribose for RNA or 2′-deoxyribose for DNA). When one or more phosphate groups are present, the compound is known as nucleotide and is the most important class of nucleic acid derivatives. Phosphodiester bonds connect the 5′ carbon of one nucleotide to the 3′ carbon of another nucleotide forming polymers known as polynucleotides or nucleic acids. The selective chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of ribonucleic acids produces a composition of nucleosides and nucleotides (1).

Amino acids, nucleotides and peptides are examples of non-volatile flavor compounds used as flavor enhancers and for providing umami and kokumi tastes,  besides being considered to partially replace salt in low sodium foods. On an industrial scale, these compounds can be produced by chemical and biological (microbial and enzymatic) methods, or by a combination of both (chemoenzymatic methods). Industrial processes for large-scale production of 5´-nucleotides are mostly based on the enzymatic degradation of yeast RNA using phosphodiesterase (nuclease P1) to form the four types of 5´-Nucleoside monophosphates (GMP, AMP, CMP and UMP), which are further separated by ionic chromatography(e.g. hyper-cross-linked resins) (2). Spent brewer’s yeast can be used as a feedstock for the production of these compounds (1). 

Flavor enhancers include guanylic acid e626 and inosinic acid e630, e627, and 631. Food additives may be improved by adding monosodium glutamate to them. Natural flavoring may be achieved by using either its extract or monosodium. Gluten or any bacterial fermentation process may provide it.

Glutamate trading is also known by other popular names such as Vetsin, Accent, or Ajinomoto. Flavor enhancer 635’s original name was Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides. To make it, tapioca starch is mixed with salts, a combination of disodium inosinate, and sodium hydroxide. It is necessary to include the appropriate quantity of disodium guanylate to make a food additive that can be used in any recipe.

Natural glutamate is the main ingredient in flavor enhancer 635. Meat extract or msg (monosodium glutamate) added combination are two terms used to describe this substance. This food ingredient is found in almost every snack on the market. It’s a great way to improve the flavor of food. All of the chemicals listed above may be used to make a variety of flavoring agents.

E635 Flavor Enhancer may be used in several ways

5′-ribonucleotides are high value-added molecules widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries because of their bioactive properties (1).

 ·         A food additive, flavor enhancer 635, has no flavor or scent of its own. Adding it to meals gives it a distinctive flavor and appearance.

·         With the aid of this enhancer, you can preserve fish and meat for a lengthy period. Besides extending its usefulness, they also maintain moisture in the product.

·         The consequence is that the flavor and aroma of your favorite chicken or nuggets may last for a long period.

·         In Chinese cuisine, it’s a key ingredient. Flavor enhancer 635 may be found in a wide variety of foods, from spices to Chinese sauces.

·         This ingredient is what gives savory meals their characteristic tang.

·         If you don’t use it, the flavor of your favorite instant noodle pack will be off.

·         Preservatives in the food business have provided a vast range of food additives that are either artificial or natural.

·         Add this flavor enhancer to foods like potato chips, soup, custard, and cream cheese.

Flavor enhancers can be used as a therapeutic resource. Flavor enhancers which provide the umami taste can be used as a salt substitute, thus decreasing the sodium intake of individuals that suffer from high blood pressure. Umami is a way to reduce salt intake while retaining palatability. Elderly individuals, as well as people who are subject to intensive hospitalization and chemo- and radio-therapeutic treatments, may suffer from permanent or transient impairment of taste and smell faculties, which leads to loss of appetite, resistance to eating, malnutrition and, in some cases, anorexia. Increasing umami in their meals may be part of a solution to their problems. A simple way to do this is by reduction and concentration of flavor compounds in boiling water and sauces. At the same time, increasing umami will lower the need for salt and sugar in the food. Food enhancers stimulate appetite and enhance saliva and immunoglobulin A secretion that leads to a smoothening of mastication and swallowing (3).

Disodium 5 ribonucleotides and allowed enhancers are some of the most common names for flavor enhancer 635.

The Flavor Enhancer 635’s advantages

 ·         A food flavoring agent known as Enhancer or INS 635 is used to improve the taste of a wide range of dishes. A white powder or off-white crystals may be found.

·         This preservative is made from sodium salts and guanylic acid. Natural glutamate from animal extracts is added to non-vegetarian dishes. MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in vegan cuisine.

·         To enhance the flavor and aroma of food, this food additive causes a chemical reaction inside the food.

·         Flavor enhancer 635 is considered a flavoring additive by the food industry.

·         Comparatively speaking, it’s rather pricey.

In addition, it enhances saliva and immunoglobulin A secretion, which promotes the immune system and oral health, protecting teeth and mucosa from infections. A larger saliva volume improves the nutritional status by promoting digestion and nutrient availability in the gut (3).

Is disodium 5′-ribonucleotides safe to take?

Has the FDA, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Additives certified its safety when used as a food additive? Yes.

Oral toxicity of was low, with most studies finding no adverse effects (e.g. no effects were seen for 5´ribonucleotide and similar flavor enhancers at doses of up to 500 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day given to rats and dogs for two years). No tumours were seen in small groups of rats (10 per sex per group) given up to 2 % of these compounds (864 mg/kg bw per day for males; 1,026 mg/kg bw per day for females) in the diet for two years (4).


As a direct food additive, FDA-approved disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are acceptable to use in foods. However, I+G’s information is not available.

“Additives other than colors and sweeteners” (E635) is classified as an EFSA-approved food additive in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012, which categorizes it as an “approved food additive”. It has to be re-evaluated in conjunction with IMP and GMP, which have been sought since October 2018.

Australian and New Zealand Food Standards

In Australia and New Zealand, it has been authorized as an ingredient with the code number 635. 


Food additives: taste enhancers are of the JECFA functional class

As of 1974, the “not specified” daily consumption limit for adults was established.

E635 Adverse Effects

Disodium ribonucleotides should be avoided by anybody suffering from asthma. It’s also possible that it’ll trigger a variety of allergic responses. Several individuals have itchy or rashy skin as a result of this.

Sniffing the enhancer powder might cause choking or shortness of breath in those with respiratory disorders. Additionally, restlessness, agitation, and mood changes are also possible adverse effects. However, it is usually deemed safe with few negative effects on a large scale when eaten moderately.

Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides-intolerant people can develop MSG symptom complex (Chinese restaurant syndrome) which is characterized by one of more of the following (5):

– A burning sensation in the back of the neck, forearms and chest.

– Numbness in the back of the neck, radiating to the arms and back.

– A tingling, warmth and weakness in the face, temples, upper back, neck and arms.

– Facial pressure or tightness, swelling of lips/face

– Chest pain, rapid heartbeat

– Headache, nausea, drowsiness

– Bronchospasm (difficulty breathing) in MSG-intolerant people with asthma.


In this brief guide, we answered the query,” Is 635 vegan?” and discussed the composition and side effects of E635.

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Alves, Edson Marcelino, et al. 5′-Ribonucleotides production using 5′-phosphodiesterase from spent malt roots. Brazil J Food Technol, 2021, 24.  


Paulino, Bruno N., et al. Biotechnological production of non-volatile flavor compounds. Current Opin Food Sci, 2021, 41, 26-35.


Joute, Jerry R., et al. Food additives and their associated health risks. Int J Veter Scie Anim Husb, 206, 1, 1-5.


Gaudette, Nicole J., and Zeb Pietrasik. The sensory impact of salt replacers and flavor enhancer in reduced sodium processed meats is matrix dependent. J sensor stud, 2017, 32, e12247.