In Nigeria, many people enjoy cooking with seasoning cubes that come with different names.
Their choices are mostly propelled by several reasons one of them addiction and another is ‘family tradition’.
Just because our parents used them, we have found them helpful and necessary in our meals.
Several cubes sometimes go into a put of soup to supposedly bring out the ‘delicious taste’.
Maggi website says: “You simply crumble 1 x Maggi seasoning cube into your pot of fresh vegetables and stir it all together to bring out the delicious taste”!
We all know that reading habits have nosedived around the world. Nigeria appears to be in the echelon of this situation.
Tendency For Abuse
Many persons who use these cubes may not give time to reading the content of the cube to be sure of its nutritional value which is key in ensuring that an individual is healthy.
When the value of a thing is not known, there is a tendency for abuse.
People who use these cubes even believe that it is a concentration of crayfish, fish or meat that makes a cube.
Breakdown Of Content
But our research reveled otherwise.
“Iodised Salt, Sugar, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), Maize Starch and Vegetable fat (Palm).”
Others are “Hydrolysed Soya Beans, Water, Colour (Ammonia Caramel), Onion, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Spice Extracts (White Pepper, Chilli, Clove) Flavouring, Yeast Extract”.
Here is a further breakdown of the content of these cubes, as against the daily human body requirement for these substances added to the cubes.
Maggi on its website said a cube of its seasoning contains;
Energy: 30kl/7kcal <1%
Fat: 0.2g <1%
Saturates: 0.1g <1%
Sugars: 0.4g <1%
Salt: 2.50g and 42%
According to our health coach, there is a recommended amount of salt adults must take, as specified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Daily salt intake for adults should be less than 5 grams per day, it recommends.
An individual can get this from two cubes of seasoning 2.50g dropped into a pot of soup.
Some people, after adding 2 cubes of seasoning to their food, still add salt into the soup. At that point, they are on their way to exceeding their daily intake.
“WHO even recommends that these 5 grams should be further cut down for children that are less than 15, but how many parents observe this?
One of the reasons people come down with some ailments in life is their refusal to read and apply knowledge.
From her calculation, people consume too much salt. An average of 9 to 12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum daily need.
Presence Of Sugar And MSG
Not very many people know that there is sugar (even though it is not significant) in the cubes they cook with it.
Those avoiding sugar intake will get a portion of the 0.4grams of sugar from a cube of Maggi.
Ultimately, adding more than one cube increases the amount of sugar this cubes bring in. A little wonder they make soup sweet.
Meanwhile, another ingredient in seasoning that has become an issue of controversy is Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
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While some believe it is harmful to humans, there are others who claim that people who live healthy have no cause to worry about the amount of MSG in seasoning.
Meanwhile, a 2018 research work says: “although MSG has proven its value as an enhancer of flavour, different studies have hinted at possible toxic effects related to this popular food-additive.
“These toxic effects include CNS disorder, obesity, disruptions in adipose tissue physiology, hepatic damage, CRS and reproductive malfunctions”.
In essence, most of the write-ups on this MSG suggest that caution should be employed in eating items that have it as a component.
While it requires that seasoning should be consumed in moderate quantity, WHO has emphasised the need for people to reduce intake of salt.
Need For Moderation
A reduction will help to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart attack.
This health risk that excessive intake of salt could cause stresses the need for moderation in the use of seasoning.
According to WHO, “reducing salt intake has been identified as one of the most cost-effective measures countries can take to improve population health outcomes”.
An estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.