A reader and her husband love Eggs Benedict for breakfast.
She writes: "Alas we find the sauce too rich, so use a packet of Maggi Hollandaise sauce. Could you please do a breakdown on the ingredients and hopefully it isn't all bad news."
Maggi Hollandaise Finishing Sauce. $1.50 for 46g.
Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):
This is a generic name for a powder which resembles milk or something you would mix with coffee. It is found in a lot of packet sauces.
Glucose syrup solids
This is a form of sugar usually made from corn.
Vegetable Fat (contains soy)
This could be soybean oil, but not sure.
Protein that has been taken out of milk.
These are potassium phosphates (340) and diphosphates (451). Stabilisers help a food product keep its structure.
These are mono and diglyercides of fatty acids (471) which are produced primarily from hydrogenated soya bean oil and sodium lacylate (481) which is a salt.
Anti-caking agent (551)
Silicon dioxide or silica (551) is used in here to prevent the powder in the packet from caking.
This is tocopherols or Vitamin E.
Modified Starch (1420)
This is starch acetate esterified with acetic anhydride. It is most likely in this product as a thickener.
Maltodextrin (from corn)
This white powder is made from corn which is cooked, then acids or enzymes are added to break it down. The result is a white powder which is water-soluble and has a neutral taste. It can be used as a thickener, a filler and a preservative in processed foods.
Flavours (contain milk)
No mention of natural flavours here but it does say on the packet "no artificial colours of flavours" so let's believe they are natural. Some are derived from milk.
Not sure what vegetable oil is used in here.
Mineral Salt (339)
This is sodium phosphates which is a salt of phosphoric acid.
This product isn't too salty at 245mg of sodium per 43ml of sauce. And the salt has iodine added.
Food acid (citric acid, 262)
Citric acid is joined by sodium acetate (262).
Vegetable gum (guar)
Guar gum is extracted from seeds.
Whole egg powder
Egg has been dehydrated to add to the powder. This low down on the list there won't be a lot of it in here.
Colours (annatto, turmeric)
These are natural colours annatto which is a peach colour taken from the seed coating of the tropical annatto tree, and turmeric and orange yellow colour taken from the turmeric root.
This tastes nothing like hollandaise sauce to me. I miss the eggy flavour and the creamy buttery tang.
This tastes like it is trying to be a cheese sauce and failing.
I understand that our reader finds this easy to prepare - all you do is mix with some boiling water, and it is less fatty than a true hollandaise but, oh, it has so many additives.
To make a hollandaise at home you would need eggs, butter, lemon juice or vinegar and maybe a spice like cayenne or mustard - so four basic, real food ingredients.
You would also need patience as it is very easy to split the mixture, and then it is irretrievable.
By using this packet you are reconstituting 20 ingredients such as fillers, colours, anti-caking agent, emulsifiers and stabilisers just to make a sauce.
Instead of using this powder you can opt for a mock hollandaise sauce. The easiest recipe I've found involves melting ½ cup of butter, then you take the pan off the heat and whisk in ½ cup of mayonnaise and ½ tsp of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne.
If you make sure your mayonnaise is good quality this sauce would be much better for you.
20 ingredients to imitate a sauce which normally has four.
No artificial flavours, colours or MSG.
Just add water.