Oct 25, 2017

Saffola Masala Oats - Review

 There is an ongoing battle between two brands that I noticed in my social media feed, specifically the brand sponsored posts. The two brands are Maggi Noodles and Saffola Masala Oats - the former being an established brand for the last 3 decades and the latter being a relatively new entrant trying to make a dent in the 3-minute instant cooking foods space.

The latest promotions of Saffola masala oats point out that instant noodles are deep fried, but masala oats are 70% less in fats and high in fibre. Their positioning is focused on being a healthy product with tagline “Tasty way to stay fit”, “The smarter way to stay fit” etc.

Before I proceed with the comparison, let me admit upfront:
I used to be a big fan of Maggi noodles in my teens and early 20s but now I have completely stopped eating it. I buy the small pack occasionally for my daughter because she loves it and it is one of the very few junk foods that enter my pantry.
I have never tasted the masala oats pack from Saffola or from any other brand.
Let's look at the claims made by Saffola Masala Oats: 

#1 - Saffola Masala oats is high in natural fibre

From the nutrition information, a single serving of Maggi has the SAME amount of fibre as that of Saffola Masala oats - a meagre 2.7 gm. 

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.

Processed oats, especially the quick cooking ones that get ready in 2-3 minutes has very little fibre. So let’s not buy into such statements from these oats brands. There are so many good sources of fibre - grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits. If you are still adamant about eating oats for increasing your fibre intake, then opt for rolled oats.

#2 - Saffola Masala oats has 70% less fat than instant noodles
From the nutrition information, this claim seems to be true. The actual difference is around 68%.

#3 - Goodness of oats and vegetables combine to provide a wholesome meal
From the ingredients of “Saffola Masala Oats - Veggie Twist”, here’s the list of so-called vegetables.
Dried Vegetables (Carrot (1.6%), Green Peas (1.1%), French Beans (0.7%))
Look at how minuscule the percentages are! And most importantly, these are dried - which means they have absolutely no nutritional value. 

#4 - Saffola Masala Oats has delicious seasoning
Again, a minuscule percentage (1.38%) of chilli, turmeric, ginger etc.
The pack also includes two flavour enhancers:
631 - Disodium 5' inosinate
Mostly made from animals or fish
Harmful to people suffering from gout or rheumatism
Aggravates food intolerances. May cause asthmatic and allergic reactions.
Not permitted in foods for infants and young children.

627 - Disodium 5’ guanylate
Linked to hyperactivity and gout
Aggravates food intolerances. May cause asthmatic and allergic reactions.
Not permitted in foods for infants and young children. 

What’s so “delicious" about these harmful flavour enhancers?

Please don’t misinterpret that I’m supporting Maggi. I’ll write a separate post on it soon. We all know Maggi is unhealthy and the brand doesn’t seem to associate itself strongly with any health-focused tags yet. Exception being the recent “goodness of iron” or the other variants involving wholewheat and oats, that don’t seem to create any major impact among their target segment who buy Maggi solely for its taste and quick cooking.

Brands that position themselves as “healthy” need to be questioned, especially the “oats” related ones. They can’t just claim “high fibre”, “high protein”, “smarter way to stay fit” etc. Let’s not blindly believe such messages and the attractive ads. 


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