There are many myths associated with Maggi. Today’s blog post is all about bursting those myths. But before that, let me tell you a bit more about Maggi and why I love it. MAGGI is a house-hold name in India and everywhere around the world. As a kid, I used to get Maggi noodles every alternate evening along with a cup of milk. I used to relish Maggi noodles while watching my favorite cartoon – Junglee Toofan- Tyre Puncture on ZEE TV. I and my brother would get to share that 1 packet of Maggi and Mom ensured that both get equal share. 🙂
I also remember collecting Maggi wrappers and sending it to the address mentioned on the packet. I used to get cute gifts from Maggi India which used to get delivered at my dad’s shop in Margao. When dad used to come home with those gifts, me and my brother would run downstairs and rush to the parking lot to check the gift from Maggi. I remember, once I got a DIY bird house. I made and kept it on the window and after few days a real bird laid her eggs in it… Gone are those days. There are many such stories that I can share about my childhood and Maggi. Despite of living in a small village in Goa, Maggi was available in every nook and corner even in those golden days.
Maggi was created to provide nourishing and affordable food for workers. 134 years later, it is one of the billion dollar brands, recognisable around the world for passing on goodness of homemade food. The innovative principles on which it was founded continue to drive its development forward today. Maggi is a brand which never sits. It’s constantly evolving e.g. Soups, Maggi cubes, Maggi pasta, Maggi Ketchup and Maggi Atta noodles made with wheat and Maggi oats noodles, etc.
Maggi was born in India in 1982. Since my family had a grocery store, we got introduced to it very soon. I grew up eating Maggi. Passed all my exams… 10th, 12th, graduation and post-graduation with Maggi by my side. It was always there with me even after getting married when I did not know to cook much. Even when I get a sore throat, a hot steaming bowl of Maggi is there to give the much needed comfort even before I visit the doctors. Today, I proudly serve Maggi to my 8 yr. old and sometimes also cook it for family dinner. Maggi is for everyone, old and young. My mom and mom-in-law love Maggi, as much as I and my kid loves it.
A Tour Of the Nestle R&D Center in Manesar, Gurgaon
It was my love for Maggi that I got invited to the Nestle R & D Center in Manesar. I actually got to see how Maggi Noodles are made. I got to speak to the researchers who actually develop Maggi and also got to clear some myths associated with instant noodles.
Soon after reaching the Nestle R&D Center in Manesar, Gurugram we were welcomed with coffee and a Safety briefing by Dr. Bhat. Soon Mrs. Kadambini gave us an overview of the R&D in India. After this session, we all were excited to visit the labs. We wore the lab coats provided to us and off we went inside the R&D with curiosity to explore more.
The tour started with a visit to various labs like
- NFSI India labs
- NDC Manesar Labs
- Packaging lab
- Bench scale
- Sensory lab
- Consumer kitchen
The health and safety of consumers is highest priority at Nestlé. Their commitment is to never compromise on the safety, compliance or quality of any product or service. Nestlé Quality Management System encompasses the whole value chain from “farm to fork” ensuring appropriate controls are in place at each step of the chain so that their products are safe and compliant to applicable food regulations.
The machinery in the labs not only tests the noodle cakes, but also tests the tastemaker. The protein, carbohydrate and fat content in every noodle cake and tastemaker is tested and re-tested before sending for approval for manufacturing. The balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat in MAGGI noodles is very similar to the recommendations made by Indian Council of Medical Research. This includes even the newly launched MAGGI Oat noodles which provides energy in this recommended ratio –Energy from carbohydrates (56%), protein (10%) and fats (33%).
Various tests are conducted in the Nestle R&D Center like analysis of minerals in food, including macronutrients or micronutrients, trace elements like lead and heavy metals. Highly qualified personnel carry out these analysis by following different steps in a clean laboratory environment. Even the spices used in tastemaker are tested for various parameters to assure food safety.
I was impressed with the packaging lab where I got to see various products made with recycled packaging materials. There were bags, t-shirts and even a shelf, bench and chair made with recycled tetra packs. Photography was not allowed in that lab.
In the sensory lab, we had a tasting session where we tasted the wheat and oats noodles which will be launched in the market very soon.
The tour concluded with lunch in the culinarium. The Culinarium has a test and development kitchen. The kitchen is well equipped with various equipment’s like tandoor, wood-fired oven, various organic spices, condiments, etc.
A walk through the various labs left me impressed at the ways in which Maggi noodles are made.
How is Maggi made?
Now you might be wondering, how Maggi is made. Right? I too had that same question in my mind.
A cake of Maggi noodles goes through 5 step cooking process before it is packed.
- It is steamed
- Then it is baked
- Flash frying or quick frying of about a minute and half as it reduces the moisture in the noodles and cooks the noodles cake enough for it to remain stable for several months before it reaches the consumers.
- Drying and cooling
Is Maggi Noodles Healthy?
I will not say whether Maggi noodles is healthy or unhealthy as no single food item is healthy or unhealthy. You might have heard that anything in access is not good and it is applicable everywhere. One should have a balanced diet, moderation and an active lifestyle to ensure good health. You can always add various types of vegetables, eggs or meat to your Maggi and make it healthier.
So what is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is one which provides all the nutrients in required amounts and proper proportions. It can easily be achieved through a blend of four basic food groups which are:
- Cereals, millets and pulses
- Vegetables and fruits
- Milk and milk products, egg, meat and fish
- Oils & fats and nuts & oilseeds.
Will eating Maggi noodles make one fat?
According to ICMR recommendation on Dietary Guidelines for Indians, the total fat (visible+invisible) in the diet should provide between 20-30% of total calories. The visible fat intake in diet can go up to 50g/person/day based on the level of physical activity and physiological status. Adults with sedentary lifestyle should consume about 25g of visible fat, while individuals involved in hard physical work require 30-40g of visible fat.
A bowl of MAGGI noodles has lesser fat than common food items like a vegetable cheese sandwich, veg biryani, a dosa, or an aloo parantha as the fat content in every pack in the various MAGGI noodles is 11-13g. This is well within the recommended proportions. It is about 1/5th of the total fat requirement for a person’s daily diet.
Maggi is also fortified with iron, thus giving 15% of your daily iron requirement.
At the end of the tour, we had lunch in Culinarium. MasterChef Zaheer Khan – the corporate chef of Nestle R & D Center, India gave us a demo about cooking delicious dishes with Maggi Noodles. He prepared Maggi Lasagna which turned delicious. I love eating my Maggi with cheese and Chef prepared a cheese loaded lasagna which we all devoured. We were also served with wood-fired pizzas which were prepared in the Culinarium, but Maggi Lasagna stole the show 🙂
So to conclude, I would like to tell you all that no single food can be termed as healthy or unhealthy. One should spend an active lifestyle and eat all types of foods and maintain a balanced diet. Our packet of Maggi noodles is prepared with love, care and affection and goes through multiple procedures before being sold to us… and that’s what I saw at the R & D Center in Gurugram.
How do you cook your Maggi? Do share and stay tuned to my upcoming posts where I will share a delicious recipe with Maggi.