In a moment of new year's madness I went continental with my traditional Kiwi dip of onion soup mix and reduced cream. I threw in the French onion soup mix for a touch of class, thinking it would take this delicious dip to the next level.
Not only did it not quite set right, but later as I was throwing the packet in the bin I found to my horror it had several ingredients I normally avoid.
I know a lot of people use the Maggi soups as recipe bases so I thought it worthwhile having a closer look.
Maggi French Onion Soup $1.45 for 29g
Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)
Starches (potato and corn)
This is corn flour and potato flour. So most of this packet is made up of flour.
Maltodextrin (from corn)
This is a form of sugar, although there isn't a lot in here at just under 1g per 200ml serve of soup made up with water. However, I will add that the normal onion soup has no sugar added.
Onion flakes (16 per cent)
These are clearly visible when you make the dip and do take a while to soften.
Very salty product at 460mg of sodium per 200ml serve of this soup made up with water.
Flavours (contains wheat and soy)
These will be artificial flavours as there is no mention of the word "natural."
Flavour enhancers (621, 631)
Not enjoying seeing the MSG in here (621) and disodium inosinate (631). Healthy eaters avoid both because some people who eat MSG experience burning sensations, numbness, chest pain, headache, nausea and asthma. Disodium inosinate is present in nature, but there is some doubt about how this additive is produced on an industrial scale.
Beef fat (contains soy)
This will be in here for flavour but I don't understand how beef fat could have soy in it, unless the soy is being used as a preservative.
This is similar to Marmite and provides a meaty flavour.
Colour (caramel IV)
This is a dark brown colour, commonly used in beverages like Coke and even malt vinegar. It is made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulphites under high pressures and high temperatures.
I have actually made French onion soup and it involves cooking onions for hours until they caramelise and then adding them to beef stock you have lovingly made by boiling beef bones for hours.
So this mix with its artificial flavours, colours and flavour enhancers bears no resemblance.
If you're going to use this soup as a recipe base, then why not just go for some natural soy sauce or a dab of Marmite and fry up some onions.
And if, like me, you're trying to ramp up your Kiwi dip with reduced cream, stick to the recipe on the can.
• Artificial flavours.
• Uses MSG.
• Has colour added.