There’s been this battle in my house for a while now. It’s on my intake of Maggi. Mum says it will damage my health, dad says it will change my body chemistry, I say it is harmless if consumed wisely. So I did a little research after getting tired of the argument (cos I lose all the time, lol.). In my research I found out that a lot of people go with my parents with no backings, just theories and just a few actually go with me with backings. Now I’m going to summarize what I have learnt from both sides, I don’t wanna bore you with scientific jargon (apology to my colleagues out there).
History of Maggi
Everything has a history, even formation of the earth (Gen 1). So “Maggi?” Well the name Maggi was named after Julius Maggi in 1886, after being asked by the Swiss government to create a product that would be quick to prepare yet nutritious as more and more women were working outside the home. The results were a success — two instant pea soups and an instant bean soup. In 1947 Nestlé acquired the Maggi brand. Today the tradition continues around the world. Whether it’s Maggi bouillons, soups, seasonings, noodles or sauces, consumers have come to know and trust the Maggi brand for its high quality, convenience and nutrition.
Salt, Maggi’s primary ingredient is believed to cause high blood pressure when consumed in excess. Also Monosodium Glutamate (yeah, that’s the point of controversy as some people believe consuming it is dangerous) which is naturally found in foods such as mushrooms, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and soy sauce and artificially derived from Glutamic Acid. The artificial MSG is produced by fermentation of corn, beets or cassava to get glutamate which is then purified and. It’s added to food in crystalline form which is 14% sodium. It has a unique taste (meaty or savory) which is different from salty, sweet, sour or bitter and has a permissible limit of 3 gm (less than a full teaspoon) for 454gm of meat while the higher limit being 5 gm (1 teaspoon) (na Food and Drug Administration ‘FDA’ talk am oo). Other ingredients include; sugar, partially hydrogenated palm oil (trans fat), cornstarch, and less than 2% of dehydrated beef, caramel color, natural flavor, disodium inosinate, spices, turmeric, TBHQ (preservative)
Does MSG make Maggi bouillon cube harmful?
Consuming MSG in excess could be dangerous as too much consumption promotes sluggishness in the body. It may also cause headache, nausea, numbness, skin rashes, excessive sweating, increased thirst and a twitching sensation in the mouth. In some cases one may feel. There are some adverse reactions known as Chinese restaurant syndrome associated with the consumption of MSG, it include headaches, light headedness, chest tightness, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, weakness. In which a lot of studies have been done to understand the connection between MSG and Chinese restaurant syndrome (CRS). But there’s no definitive proof that blames MSG entirely for the CRS symptoms.
Research by a section of Indian dietitians and nutritionists dismissed the concerns (about adverse health effects of monosodium glutamate (MSG) ) as “unfounded” since MSG, they said, is one of the most abundant and naturally-occurring amino acids that are added to foods as a flavor enhancer
Consumption of MSG is not harmful as long as it is used in moderation. It does not have a detrimental effect on health as long as a person does not have any food allergies to it,” Ms Nafis said.
Trans fat **gasps**
Trans fat is a sure way to develop coronary heart disease, which is a hardening and narrowing of arteries that supply blood to the heart. By increasing Low Density Lipoprotein LDL(bad) cholesterol and decreasing High Density Lipoprotein HDL(good) cholesterol in our blood stream, thus resulting in a stroke or heart attack.
My own conclusion comes down to, yes consuming Maggi bouillon cubes has its own side effects but can cause no harm if consumed moderately. How? Simple, if you are using Maggi, use Maggi, if na salt use salt, never use both together but if you want to be like me use more of Maggi and very minute quantity of salt. And if you don’t want to use Maggi at all, well you can always use dawadawa (iru) or ogiri (fermented sesame seed).