Oct 31, 2017

Maggi Nutri-licious Oats Noodles review

I guess I spoke too soon in my post on Saffola Masala oats. Maggi is indeed associating with “health” tags as well, and their recent launch of oats nutri-licious noodles is the proof. The ad carries all the messages linked to health, conveyed using a contemporary plot.

An independent daughter is chatting with her mother through a video call. While she is making breakfast, the mother is worried about her exercise and eating habits. And she insists that she should atleast have a good breakfast. The daughter immediately shows her bowl of “oats Maggi” and the mother is stunned. 
I had the same expression too on my face, while watching this ad - “good breakfast” translates to “oats Maggi”? Can it get any worse than this?

The ad makers have so much confidence that people would believe in such messages. (“Dei, neengellam engerndhu dhaan da vareenga?” - “where do you guys come from?")

Are we that naive?

The ad and the packaging focus on these two claims:

(1) Fibre of 1 bowl of oats
The nutrition information shows that a pack of 75 gm has a meager 4 gm of fibre. As you can see from the comparison table, it is slightly higher than that of regular Maggi noodles but not significant.

Reiterating the fibre present in a few fruits for comparison - A medium sized pear has 5.5 gm, a medium sized banana has 3.1 gm, 100 gm of guava contains 5.4 gm of fibre. 

The ingredients list shows that a pack of 75 gm has multigrain flour, in which oat flour contributes only 39.1%, maize flour 1.5% and of course, there is refined wheat flour (maida) as well, for which the percentage has been conveniently left out.

Why are we falling for the oats trap repeatedly? 

(2) 15% RDA of protein from soya and vegetables

The nutrition information shows that a pack of 75 gm has 9 gm of protein. As you can see from the comparison table, it is slightly higher than that of regular Maggi noodles but not significant.

Reiterating the protein present in a couple of lentils for comparison - 
100 gm serving of whole moong dal has 24 gm of protein (Source - http://healthifyme.com/blog/many-benefits-moong-dal/)
100 gm serving of horse gram (Kollu) has 22 gm of protein  

The vegetables that are added in meagre quantity are all dehydrated, which doesn’t provide any nutrition whatsoever. They are just added as an eye-wash, to make us believe that we are eating something healthy. Is it that hard to chop and steam-cook a handful of vegetables?

And most importantly, the fact that is not highlighted in the ad but shown clearly in the packaging is the “high sodium” factor.

The ideal limit of sodium is 1500 mg per day. American Heart Association has set a maximum limit of 2300 mg per day. 

We consume sodium through various foods - home cooked foods where limited salt is added and packaged foods that are usually high in salt for increased taste and preservation. 
Approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
  • 1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium
A serving of Maggi oats noodles has 942 mg of sodium. It is very easy to exceed the daily limit if such noodles are consumed on a regular basis.

What about the numerous additives, preservatives and flavour enhancers added to this pack?
Thickeners (508, 512)
Acidity regulators (501(i), 500(i), 330)
Humectant (451(i))
Anticaking agent (551)
Color (150d) => What’s synthetic caramel colour that’s usually added to Coco-cola doing here in a pack of oats noodles? Maybe, they wanted to give a whole-grain look to it.
Flavour enhancer (635) => Ribonucleotides => causes severe rashes. More details on the side-effects of this flavour enhancer are listed here.

Let’s not succumb to the false “health-tag” attached oats noodles and fool ourselves into thinking we are eating healthy. Let’s stop embracing such lazy short-cuts and start cooking fresh meals every single day. This message is intended for both the genders. 


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