Jul 6, 2018

Maggi Masala-ae-Magic Review

I usually buy a small pack of Maggi for my daughter (remember, the once-a-month rule). Since she doesn’t eat spicy food, I add a pinch of the masala pack while cooking Maggi and throw away the rest. I recently learned that the Maggi masala is being sold separately and people add it to dry vegetable curries to enhance the taste.

The product is called Maggi Masala-ae-magic with the tagline “Truly good aromatic roasted spices - to make your everyday vegetables delicious”. Apparently it tastes similar to the noodles masala pack but not exactly the same.

The ads talk about 10 roasted spices that constitute this spice blend. Given that our Indian cuisine celebrates spices and most of our cooking involves adding a range of spice powders, I was wondering why there is a need to add a sachet of Maggi masala.

Screenshot taken from Amazon on 6th Jul 2018

As always, I turned to the ingredients list:
Mixed spices ((38.7%) (Red chilli powder (7%), Onion powder, Cumin powder (5.2%), Garlic powder, Coriander powder, Capsicum extract, Turmeric powder (3.5%), Aniseed (1.4%), Black pepper powder (0.9%), Fenugreek powder (0.7%), Ginger powder, Clove powder (0.3%), Green cardamom powder (0.3%), Nutmeg powder (0.3%), Coriander extract and Cumin extract))
Flavour enhancer (635)
Palm oil
Edible Starch
Acidity Regulator (330)
Caramel salt mix (Salt, Colour (150d) & Palm oil)
Vitamin A

Contains Permitted Natural colour and added flavour (Natural flavouring substances)

The spice blend is ONLY 38.7%, rest of it is all unnecessary junk.

One portion is 2.1 gm powder. 100 gm of this product contains 15901 mg of sodium, so a portion contains 334mg of sodium. If we use this pack, do we still need to add extra salt to the sabzi? I’m not sure about this, but it does seem like unnecessary sodium added.

This spice blend contains SUGAR as well. 100 gm of this product contains 12.7 gm of sugar. Not a lot though. Might be added to balance out the flavours, but totally not required.

Leaving the salt and sugar aside, let’s come to the main issue - FLAVOUR ENHANCER (635)

These are Disodium ribonucleotides, that cause similar harmful effects as MSG.

According to this source,
Ribonucleotides are not permitted in foods intended specifically for infants and young children, and people who must avoid purines for conditions such as gout are advised to avoid these additives.
Now, who does the 80s actress Nadiya serve “kovakkai poriyal” made with Maggi Masala ae magic to? Yes, children. Check out the ad, if you haven't seen it.

The ad is conveying the message - “add this masala to boring veggies like kovakkai (ivygourd). And kids would love it”.

The number one challenge that many mothers face with respect to their child’s nutrition is “How to feed veggies to my kids?”. See, how clever marketing touches the right chord!

And do take a note of the caramel colour 150d that I had earlier shared in my post on Kelloggs Chocos.

Why would anyone want to add harmful chemicals, just so that the kids would eat veggies?

I’ll keep repeating this line over and over -  
“Please, please read the ingredients list. Don’t blindly trust the ads and marketing messages”


Abm said...

Thanks for the info. But the problem is with people living away from family. When they cook some spices misbalance in quantity and spoil the taste. These look like a better alternative. But will find some better option

Siya Gokhale said...

Your source claims that Ribonucleotides aren't meant for food but Disodium ribonucleotides, the actual ingredient in the Masala, is a Flavour Enhancer thus making it safe for children.
Do check your facts well.

Anuradha Sridharan said...

@Siya Gokhale, do click the link to the source mentioned. It talks about flavor enhancer 635 - "disodium ribonucleotides" - copy/pasting it here - "effects of new additive ribonucleotides (flavour enhancer 635, a mixture of 631disodium guanylate and 627disodium inosinate), which cause what we call Ribo Rash."

Unknown said...

There is something smelling not quite right about this masala, like the smell something metallic and i dont like ,it taste different than the pack that comes with the noodle,it smells horrible when added to the noodles

vivekanand kohli said...

Tastes really good

Unknown said...

I must thank Anuradha Saran for giving her precious time in public interest. What she has tried to emphasise is commendable. Ribonucleosides are products of nucleic acids which are basic ingredients of genetic material . The sodium salts of these chemicals,during chemical reaction in stomuch with various edibles and hydrochloric acid might break down into sodium + nucleotide and combine with other substances including food and drugs to make dangerously harmful substances . I ,therefore do not recommend Maggy.

Bhargav Kanjilal said...

I hope Anuradha what u say is correct

Paul Morais said...

The government lays down the rules and guidelines that manufacturer's follow.

Ashok k said...

Hopefully the noodles are safe.I tend to avoid adding the masala and instead add plenty of vegetables.The masala has a addictive taste and is avoidable as it's not at all healthy but more of a taste enhancer.

Jaiganesh A said...

Consumed the masala after expire of two will it cause any affect. I always use to see expire date but missed in this 😭

Usha said...

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for such an important information πŸ™πŸΌπŸ‘πŸ»

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