As its name implies, it will make your cooking magically delectable. Maybe true if your a cooking newbie but such thing is not necessary for a cooking master. It is like the flavor enhancer MSG of Ajinomoto but this Magic Sarap contains more. Lets find out.
Iodized Salt. Obviously, its a salt enriched with iodine. It is used to fight iodine deficiency. Government mandated its use for food preparations. I still prefer natural sea salt over it. Iodine kinda make food taste bad, imo. You don’t have to be obsessed with it if you occasionally include seafood in diet.
Monosodium Glutamate. A sodium salt of the naturally occurring non-essential amino acid glutamic acid. Use as a food additive and is commonly marketed as a flavour enhancer. Some of monosodium glutamate popular brands are Ajinomoto, Vetsin, and Accent. It was once predominantly made from wheat gluten, but is now mostly made from bacterial fermentation. It has the so called umami taste.
MSG is perfectly safe according long series of studies. There are lots of contradicting safety and health issues left and right. Truth to be told, some of them were funded by big companies. Favorable results are use for advertisement. Negatives for smear campaign. Later, they declared that umami is present in every food.
Sugar. The popular table sugar from sugar cane. The standard for industry use is the white or refined sugar. It can be brown sugar or sugar substitute if properly specified. MSG is also derived from the same plant. Sugar is a slow acting poison when consumed continuously in large amount. Don’t worry about it! This instant flavoring won’t give you much.
Chicken Fat. It is a by product of chicken processing. Noted for being high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid levels are between 17.9% and 22.8%. Don’t be confused. Omega-6 tend to promote heart disease, a reverse effect of omega-3 fatty acid. Food technologists are good in field of value adding. Making good use of low quality by-products. Don’t curse us please! Food Processing and Health are often dealt separately.
Flavor Enhancer. A general term. Anything added to food which helps improve flavor. Its too many, it can be natural or synthetic. Why do our regulatory agencies allow such general term written on labels. It should be specified all.
Garlic. Popular as everyday cooking spice. Its flavor may vary in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. Often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger.
Onion. A spice used as seasoning in cooking. Slicing onions gonna make you cry. Opening a pack of powder won’t.
Spices. Again a general term. I cannot guess it one by one. According to wikipedia, a spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring.
Natural and Nature Identical Flavors. For the third time, a general term. According BFAD (now FDA, Food and Drug Administration) it refer to flavor preparations composed of substances derived from plant/animal products and/ or chemically synthesized substances whose significant function in food flavoring rather than nutritional.
Egg Powder. Fully dehydrated eggs made by spray drying. A similar method used in powdered milk. Using powder rather than fresh eggs is very convenient in shelf stable food preparations.
Meat Powder. Dehydrated and ground meat. It function as flavoring. There are several meat types. If you are avoiding certain types for religious or whatever reasons, you might as well avoid it.
Two months ago. I helped in food preparation for an average sized feast. One fattener pig was the basis. The two of us were in-charged for spices preparation. I mentioned that garlic and onions were not enough. My companion agreed. After several hours, all the food variants were cooked and only half of the ingredients we prepared were used. I was in shocked. How they did that? At dinner, I basically understood what happened. All variants tasted the same. They probably used the short cut trick!
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.