Are Maggi Cubes Bad for Your Health? Risk &Side Effects

Last updated on June 16th, 2023 at 09:44 pm

5 minutes read. 

In this article:

Ingredients in maggi , Health benefits

Side effects , Disodium inosinate ,

Monosodium glutamate

Conclusion , Information source


Maggi is a popular flavour enhancer or bouillon cube that can be found all over the world.

Before Maggi came into existence West Africans cook with fermented locust beans called open/iru/Dawa Dawa in Nigeria and Ghana. Maggi is a brand, however, it has become a stand-alone noun in many households. In Nigeria, all seasoning cubes are known as Maggi because they contain may be the same ingredients the only difference is their brand names.

Maggi can come in cubes, powder, sauce, or a packet. In Germany, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameron, Benin, Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, and parts of the Middle East, Maggi cubes are integral parts of the local cuisine.

In Haiti and throughout Latin America, Maggi products especially bouillon cubes are widely sold with some repacking to reflect local terminology.

In German, Dutch, and Danish languages, lovage has come to be known as Maggi herbs (Ger, Maggi kraut, Du. Maggi

Du. Maggikruid or maggiplant, Da. Maggiurt), because it tastes similar to Maggi sauce, although lovage is not present in the sauce.

Ingredients in Maggi

What are the ingredients used in making cubes?

The ingredients in Maggi cubes are salt, sugar, partially hydrogenated palm oil, monosodium glutamate(MSG), cornstarch, less than 2 percent of onion powder, chicken fat, dehydrated chicken, garlic powder, turmeric, disodium inosinate(DSI), spices, TBHQ as preservative. Some companies may use disodium guanylate (DSG) to monosodium glutamate.

What are the Health Benefits of Maggi seasoning?

Back in 2009, Nestle spotted an opportunity, according to Petra Klassen-Wigger, Scientific Advisor at Nestles’s Nutrition, Health, and Wellness department. “Maggi bouillon cubes and tablets were widely consumed across the region, making them an ideal vehicle for iron for fortification,” she says.

Nestle scientists spent two years researching different forms of iron to find the right one. “By making small alterations to other ingredients, we were eventually able to add iron to the cubes without making them more expensive”, Klassen-Wigger explains.

Without enough iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin-a substance found in red blood cells that helps to carry oxygen. As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired and short of breath.

Small changes to food production can have a significant impact. In the case of iron deficiency, treatment can restore health and raise community productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.

Various studies have proven that garlic can improve heart health and blood pressure. It has also been used for weight loss, as it boosts. Apparently, garlic also treats vaginal yeast infections, and stomach cancers while providing relief from mouth ulcers. Garlic powder is one of the ingredients in Maggi cubes.

The tremendous demand for functional food, nutraceuticals, and fortified products has urged food scientists and technologists to come up with novel fortified foods having health-promoting benefits, sensorial acceptability, and better shelf life.

Garlic is a promising source of bioactive compounds, especially allicin.

Turmeric, another component of the Maggi cube, and its powerful ingredient, curcumin, have a range of health benefits. Antioxidants have the potential to prevent heart disease, eye conditions, and Alzheimer’s.

Anti-inflammatory properties can help people with arthritis. Turmeric may even reduce the risk or spread of cancer.

What are the Side Effects of Maggi Seasoning?

  • Trans-fats

Partially hydrogenated oil is used in many processed baked goods and snacks of trans fat. Trans fats raise your LDL (#bad cholesterol). They also lower your HDL (#good cholesterol).

High LDL along with low HDL levels can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries (blood vessels). This increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.

  • High sodium content

Maggi cubes are high in not only sodium. Similar products average about 1,000mg per cube or half cube, excessive sodium is linked to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.

WHO strongly recommends a reduction in dietary salt intake as one of the top priority actions to tackle the global non-communicable disease crisis and has urged member nations to take action to reduce population-wide dietary salt intake to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Disodium inosinate

Disodium inosinate is the disodium salt of inosinic acid with the chemical formula C₁₀H₁₁N₄Na₂O₈P. It is used as a food additive and often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks

What’s the function of Disodium inosinate?

Disodium inosinate is used as a flavor enhancer, in synergy with monosodium glutamate (MSG) to provide an umami taste. It is often added to foods in conjunction with disodium guanylate; the combination is known as disodium 5′-ribonucleotides.

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the main flavor enhancer in Maggi cubes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s generally recognized as safe,” but its use remains controversial.

India’s food regulator banned Maggi in 2015 after tests showed it contained excessive lead and for alleged mislabeling over flavor enhancer MSG. The product returned to stores after a court lifted the restriction. Nestle has since then removed the claim “No added MSG”.

The FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG.

These reactions known as MSG symptom complex include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning in the face, neck, and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

Scientific research reported that both animal models and human studies have shown that even administration of as low as 2mg of MSG demonstrated a toxic effect on the reproductive system.

It has been well-established that MSG has some laudable gustatory and psychological effects as well as positive effects with regard to hypertension and iron deficiency.

However, at the same time, there are abundant reports of harmful effects such as oxidative stress, DNA damage, protein modification, and lysis of stromal cells.

In addition, MSG has been linked with obesity and metabolic disorders. Results from both animal and human studies have demonstrated that the administration of even the lowest dose of MSG has toxic effects.

It has been suggested that toxicity of MSG can be overcome by the use of certain kinds of vitamins like A, C, D, and E. Quercetin and diltiazem have also been suggested to play a protective role in MSG-induced toxicity.

The study concluded that, although MSG has proven its value as an enhancer of flavor, different studies have hinted at possible toxic effects related to this popular food additive.

These toxic effects include CNS (central nervous system) disorder, obesity, disruptions in adipose tissue physiology, hepatic damage, CRS, and reproductive malfunctions.

These threats might have hitherto been underestimated. In the meantime, people keep using ever larger amounts of MSG unaware of the possible consequences.

Related: Is Disodium Guanylate Safe for Health? What’s it? Uses

Related: What’s tBHQ Preservative? Can it Cause Cancer?


The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Disodium inosinate, and Disodium guanylate.

Cooking with natural food flavourings such as okpei , ogiri , chili peppers, black pepper, yellow and red pepper, onions, garlic, nutmeg, time and rosemary, ginger and turmeric, salt, ehulu, ugba/ukpaka (fermented oil bean), Curry powder and Curry leaf, fishes of different types, the meat of different types, etc can help you prepare a delicious savory tasteful food in your kitchen without adding any synthetic flavour that could cause later damage to your system.

There are many more natural food flavor enhancers you can find in your local grocery if you search for it no matter your location.

I have tried using some of these natural spices I mentioned above to prepare food and found that they can actually give great flavor to food without adding any synthetic flavor.

I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you like this post. Have you experienced any of the side effects of MSG, DSI, and DSG mentioned above? Feel free to share with me in the comment below.

Information Sources









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