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»

Saheel said...

Ye thoda jyada nhi ho gaya

Shounak B said...

I would like to thanks Anuradha Baridhara for her valuable advice. I read your post and I am going to throw away both Maggi masala and Kellogg's out of my house. My wife asked me to read about their health benefits. I would like to thank you for your inputs. I think, oat is a better option.

Prankul said...

@Anuradha Sridharan, You seem like the kind who first finds something you like and then starts believing in it with your whole heart without actually researching carefully. You see, when you see something new, and you don't know if it's correct or not, you should research both the sides, not only the one which you want to be correct. Clearly, here your opinion is biased, as you wanted to prove that added flavour enhancers pose a health hazard and hence that's what you looked into, totally disregarding the fact that you could be wrong.

I know you will not read a word I write below, but for many people who follow you and seem affected by your lies, I must at least try, as they are giving up something good which is not dangerous just because you said otherwise.

Disodium Ribonucleotides were first assessed in 1974 by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives based on all available scientific literature. This assessment resulted in a new specification prepared and an "ADI Not Specified". This essentially means that this additive shows no toxicology at any level and acceptable daily limits do not need to be set. The definition is as follows:

This statement means that, on the basis of available data (chemical, biochemical, and toxicological), the total daily intake of the substance arising from its use or uses at levels necessary to achieve the desired effect and from its acceptable background in food, does not, in the opinion of the Committee, represent a hazard to health. For this reason, and for reasons stated in the individual evaluations, the establishment of an acceptable daily intake (ADI) expressed in mg per kg of body weight is not deemed necessary.

In 1993 the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives considered several more studies on this food additive and retained the "ADI not specified" safety classification.

On top of that all, the sources which you mentioned (https://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/635-msg-boosters-ribo-rash-ribonucleotides-627-631) is a mess. It's a food intolerance forum maintained by delusional people who just refuse to see the facts and evidence, and just go blabbering about all the bad things happened to a friend of friend of theirs. Their whole website is filled with such rubbish with people claiming things without proofs and ignoring evidence. On top of all that, if you scroll all the way to bottom, you can see this line: "The information given is not intended as medical advice.".

I would ask you to go through my sources, but looking at your blogs, you seem quite incompetent to me in reviewing more than 2-3 papers/websites at a time for your blogs, so it might be a bit difficult. But please do try. These people are not talking out of their rear. They have conducted proper tests, unlike your sources and know what they are getting themselves into.

Anuradha Sridharan said...

@Prankul, I have read every word and I have published your comment for public access. You must be clearly joking when you say "people are giving up something good". What good are people getting by consuming E635? Can you care to explain?

You have copy-pasted the contents from wikipedia. If you have read the first paragraph on wikipedia, it states "Disodium ribonucleotides is a mixture of disodium inosinate (IMP) and disodium guanylate (GMP)". The Environment Working Group (EWG) has clearly mentioned the side effects of both these ingredients - https://www.ewg.org/research/packagedorganic/
"can increase uric acid levels, increasing the risk of kidney stones or gout."

Unknown said...

You can prepare a spice mix at home which is traditionally called the garam masala and can add it in your curries and veggies to balance the ratio of spices.

manoharvarma said...


Unknown said...

Will not cause any effect. Take plenty of fluids. Better to check expiry date.

Blog Archive

All contents copyrighted by Anuradha Sridharan, 2021. Don't copy without giving credits. Powered by Blogger.