Maggi seasoning is possibly the number one ingredient in every West African household used by generations as a cooking companion; you probably couldn’t imagine life without it. I mean, you’ve grown up cooking with it all your life so how bad can it really be? Why all the fuss and wahala?
If you’ve been following me on social media for a while, you’ll know that my main philosophy is eating things in moderation. I rarely fuss over food and encourage others to enjoy the occasional treat.
There are however some things that can’t be swept under the rug. If you’re still using Maggi seasoning heavily, you probably won’t want to use another bit until you’ve read this post.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN MAGGI SEASONING?
The company behind the Maggi seasoning cube (also called Maggi) produce a variety of products but its main product in West Africa are the seasoning cubes.
Maggi cubes are added as an ingredient to almost every dish and there’s no denying that it contains all the flavour that make your dishes taste amazing! But did you know these facts about maggi seasoning?
Apparently the cubes are “a source of iron which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle”.
It’s only until recently that I decided to explore each of the ingredients in this tiny cube. Let’s dive in and see what’s inside:
- Iodised Salt
- Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate)
- Maize Starch
- Vegetable Fat (Palm)
- Hydrolysed Soya Beans
- Colour (Ammonia Caramel)
- Ferric Pyrophosphate
- Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin)
- Spice Extracts (White Pepper, Chilli, Clove)
- Yeast Extract
FACT #1 – MAGGI SEASONING CONTAINS TOXIC COMPOUNDS
The first thing to understand when reading ingredients on food packages is that ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance. This means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first which in this case is iodised salt.
WHAT IS IODISED SALT?
Iodised salt is table salt mixed with a tiny amount of iodine. The ingestion of iodine prevents iodine deficiency which affects about two billion people worldwide.
We all need a little iodine in our diets, and there are few sources to get it but if you’re ever worried about an overconsumption of iodine, you need not worry. You can’t really get too much iodine from iodised salt. In fact, the iodine that is added to table salt is not enough to compensate for most iodine deficiencies.
SO WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IODISED SALT?
Well, once we factor out the iodine we’re left with just regular table salt and contrary to popular belief, table salt is not just sodium chloride. It’s made up of 99% sodium chloride and the other 1% is an anti-caking agent which is designed to make it more free-flowing and keep it from absorbing moisture.
The problem is that anti-caking agents are basically made of compounds such as ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate, which are harmful to your body. Aluminium intake leads to neurological disorders and as it builds up inside the body, it causes further degeneration over time.
The sodium chloride in table salt is highly concentrated, denatured, and toxic to your body.
If you’ve ever had salt come in contact with an open cut you’ll remember how much it burns. Refined salt has that same effect on your insides and causes a bad reaction. This is why you retain water when you eat a lot of salt because it’s your body’s way of defending itself.
Your cells then release water to help neutralise, and break down the salt and this loss of water weakens your cells and can even cause them to die prematurely.
FACT #2 – MAGGI SEASONING CONTAINS HARMFUL E-NUMBERS
An E number is a number given to food additives that have passed safety tests and have been approved for use throughout Europe. Food additives are ingredients added to foods to make them last longer.
While E numbers get lots of negative publicity, not all are bad.
Monosodium Glutamate is a controversial E number and flavour enhancer that isn’t permitted in foods for infants and young children due to concern about its effects. It also causes a bad reaction in some asthma sufferers.
Many people mistakenly think that MSG is only in Chinese foods, and as long as they avoid Chinese foods, they’re safe.
Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate & Disodium Guanylate – all of which are found in Maggi Seasoning – can cause the following:
- asthma attacks
- heart irregularities
- sinus problems
You will also see yeast extract and spice extract on the list of ingredients. Did you know that legally MSG can be hidden in these ingredients?
All spice, yeast, protein or even herb extracts can have MSG in them. So anytime you see a yeast extract or spice extract, beware!