Does McCormick Taco Seasoning Have MSG? (Answered)

In a previous article, we compared several taco seasoning brands and McCormick came out on top of our taste test. It is certainly not just popular with us but with countless other taco lovers.

However, does this taco seasoning contain an added ingredient that some people wish to avoid? Specifically, this article will discuss whether McCormick Taco Seasoning has added MSG, a common food additive used as a flavor enhancer.

McCormick Taco Seasoning & Added MSG

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that manufacturers disclose added MSG as an ingredient on the label of packaged food sold in the United States. The FDA states that added MSG must be listed in the ingredients under its full name of “Monosodium Glutamate”.

The table below shows the various McCormick Taco Seasonings along with whether they contain added MSG. We also included the ingredients for your reference.

In summary, as you can see in the ingredients section, no seasoning contains Monosodium Glutamate. McCormick Taco Seasonings have no added MSG for the products listed below.

SeasoningAdded MSG (Yes or No?)Ingredients
Original TacoNoSpices (Including Chili Pepper, Paprika, Oregano), Corn Starch, Salt, Onion, and Garlic.
Mild TacoNoSpices (Including Paprika, Chili Pepper, Cumin), Salt, Corn Starch, Onion, and Garlic.
Hot TacoNoSpices (Including Chili Pepper, Paprika, Red Pepper, Cumin), Salt, Corn Starch, Onion and Garlic.
Cheesy TacoNoCorn Maltodextrin, Salt, Spices (Including Chili Pepper, Paprika, Turmeric), Whey (Milk), Modified Corn Starch, Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate (Flavor Enhancers), Yeast Extract, Extractives of Paprika & Natural Flavor (Including Barley).
30% Less Sodium Taco SeasoningNoSpices (Including Chili Pepper, Paprika, Oregano), Corn Starch, Onion, Salt and Garlic.
30% Less Sodium Mild Taco SeasoningNoSpices (Including Chili Pepper, Paprika, Cumin), Corn Starch, Salt, Onion & Garlic.
Organic Taco SeasoningNoOrganic Spices (Including Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Paprika, Organic Oregano, Organic Cumin), Organic Onion, Salt, Organic Garlic, Organic Evaporated Cane Syrup, & Citric Acid.

Keep in mind that ingredients can change at any time. The most accurate ingredient information will be on the product label. We recommend that you review the ingredients of any product at the store if consuming potentially unwanted ingredients, like MSG, is a concern for you.

McCormick Taco Seasoning & Natural MSG

Many people do not realize that MSG is naturally occurring in certain foods. Some of these foods include tomatoes, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, yeast extract, peas, seaweed, soy sauce, and anchovies (source).

You will notice that McCormick’s Cheesy Taco Seasoning, for example, has cheddar cheese and yeast extract as ingredients (see above). As indicated, these are known to have free-form glutamate naturally found in these ingredients.

IS MSG Safe?

Most people aren’t concerned about natural MSG or even man-made MSG given it is in foods that are consumed daily with the majority of people reporting no issues. Furthermore, the FDA has classified MSG as “generally recognized as safe”. However, a small percentage of people are reportedly sensitive to glutamate causing symptoms such as nausea, headache, flushing, chest pain, and other mild issues.

It is a controversial topic because while many people have reported sensitivities to glutamate, there is no link between glutamate/MSG and these sensitivities based on current research. Additional research needs to be conducted that helps us understand the issue with more clarity.

If you suspect certain foods are causing health issues, eliminate them from your diet. Assuming your symptoms aren’t severe, an elimination diet might be best for you to determine what is and what is not causing the sensitivities.

Vu, H. (2021, April 7). What is MSG (monosodium glutamate) & how is it used? Hungry Huy. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from