Most broths are cooked from bones, meat, vegetables and spices. And that, by and large, is all that belongs in it. With a homemade broth you can be sure which ingredients were used. This becomes more difficult to impossible with instant brews in granulated form. The ingredient lists of many well-known manufacturers are usually long and often start with salt, palm fat and flavour enhancers. Finding a broth without glutamate is often not that easy. Find out more in this article:
- Instant broths – you must know that
- You should know these technical terms
- Make your own broth: cooking time
- Make your own broth: with bones in organic quality
- What’s a good broth supposed to be like?
- Instant Broth Test
1. instant broths – you have to know that
The range of ready-made instant broths is large. But: finished products are often dull, aqueous and full of preservatives and sodium. Unfortunately, one often tastes that too: an artificial yeast taste is the result.
Instant broths often contain a lot of salt, because it is a very inexpensive raw material. In some cases, the salt content of instant broths even exceeds 50 percent. How many vegetables, on the other hand, must be contained in a vegetable broth, for example, is not regulated by law. It is often just between four and twelve percent. A different ingredient must therefore ensure taste – and this is often the flavour enhancer sodium glutamate. It must be labelled on the packaging, so it is worth taking a look at the ingredients of a ready-made broth. This additive is also cheap to produce, which is why many manufacturers use it to enhance the taste of their instant broths. But you should always use broth without glutamate and broth without sugar. Glutamate triggers an intolerance reaction in some people. Headaches, nausea or palpitations can be the symptoms. However, the health hazard posed by glutamate has not been clearly proven scientifically.
Almost all ready meals also contain sugar. It stimulates the same areas in the brain as alcohol or nicotine. Sugar causes blood sugar to rise rapidly, but does not provide any other nutrients. Chronic diseases are favoured by excessive sugar consumption.
But by no means all flavour enhancers are simply marked on the label. Ingredients such as yeast extract and flavourings may also be present in products labelled ‘without artificial flavour enhancers’ or ‘without flavour enhancers’. Other instant broths contain sugar instead of flavour enhancers. A look at the test results of Stiftung Warentest, Ökotest or Foodwatch is definitely worthwhile if you want to know what is hidden in the broth.
So anyone who wants to use a finished product – whether for lack of time or little desire to cook – should take a very close look at the ingredients. It is important to use organic products that often not only have better ingredients but also a much better taste, as they do not contain added glutamate or other additives. A short list of ingredients on the label is always an advantage.
How you can make your own brewing powder is explained in the article “Shelf life and storage of brew”.
2. you should know these technical terms
You should pay attention to the following terms on the label:
monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate
- flavour enhancers, also known as E621, E631 and E627
- Monosodium glutamate consists of the salts of glutamic acid
- Glutamate provides the fifth flavour Umami
- forbidden in organic food
- the health risk is controversial
- Gelling or thickening agents, also known as E415
- also approved for organic food
- indigestible for the human organism, is excreted like a dietary fibre
locust bean gum
- Gelling and thickening agents, also known as E410
- also approved for organic food
- is used by the body as dietary fibre
- can occasionally trigger allergies
- in the case of soy allergy, cross-allergy may occur
- sugar substitute
- is mostly made from maize or wheat
- consists of glucose and fructose; has the same ingredients and calories as sugar
- is often used to hide the sugar content in the product
- does not have to be declared as sugar, can therefore be advertised as “sugar-free
- consists of the liquid of yeast cells
- often has a high proportion of glutamate, may nevertheless be advertised with “without glutamate or flavour enhancer
- Mixture of carbohydrates obtained from maize or wheat starch
- neutral in taste and supports other flavours
- is often used in light products
- World’s most important vegetable oil
- obtained from the fruits of the oil palm
- creamy consistency, buttery taste
- Ecologically extremely questionable, the long-term consequences of cultivation are enormous: tenfold increase in cultivated areas since 1985 destroys rainforest and biodiversity, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia.
- is included in every second product
- Release agent, also known as E551 or silica
- actually it is finely ground sand
- often contained in salt and icing sugar
- Sometimes, additional nano-particles are used, which could enter the body through the intestine. Nano-particles are used to reduce the content of salt, fat and sugar in food. The problem: The effects of such particles on human health have not yet been sufficiently researched; there are no conclusive studies on long-term effects.
The question is whether you really want these substances in your food. Of course, all this is not contained in a homemade broth. Making your own broth is worth it. Because that way you know that you have a broth without glutamate and other additives in front of you. Otherwise, a look at the ingredients of the finished products helps to get clarity.
3. make your own broth: with bones in organic quality
If you want to make a nutritious broth yourself, the first step is to get the bones. The bones should release a maximum of nutrients, gelatine and aroma into your broth. And that’s why it’s so important where the bones came from. Because this is the only way they can put all their power into the broth.
We are not only what we eat, but much more what our food has eaten. It says in any case a modification of the well-known proverb. And it’s true: Through our food we absorb all the good, but also the less good ingredients. It is therefore extremely important to pay attention to the quality of the ingredients. Because they determine the health value of the broth. If inferior products are used, an inferior broth is also obtained.
The bones of cattle should come from a species-appropriate organic husbandry. Grazing is the keyword to watch out for. Because these animals are fed with grass instead of corn or grain. Maize and cereals do not constitute species-appropriate feeding because cattle stomachs are not designed for this. Thus these animals are malnourished and undersupplied with vitamins. A broth made from the bones and flesh of these animals does not produce a wholesome, healthy food. Because what’s not in the bones can’t go into your broth. So, use high-quality bones – for yourself and for the sake of the animals.
It behaves similarly with soup-chickens. Here, too, you should rely on free-range chickens from organic farms. This is because these chickens are fed species-appropriate feed, at least 95% of which must come from organic farming. Poultry from organic farming and grazing animals are therefore the best choice.
The purchase of sustainable wild catches is also worthwhile for fish broths. Because animals from fish farms, so-called aquacultures, swim in mostly overcrowded tanks in toxins and faeces – things that nobody would like to have in their food. Often, these fish are ill and infested with parasites.
So open your eyes when you buy bones. Your health, but also animals and environment will thank you for it. It’s the only way you can make a nutritious, healthy broth yourself.
4. Make the broth yourself: cooking time
So the motto is: if possible, make your own broth. So you can be sure to get the bestquality of your broth. But what makes a good broth? It should be rich in nutrients and aroma. These two factors depend – besides the quality of the ingredients – decisively on the cooking time. The type and size of the bones determine how long it takes to extract all the nutrients and full flavor from the bones and other ingredients. Small chopped chicken wings, for example, can be cooked in 1.5 hours into a tasty broth. Bigger cattle bones or whole soup chickens need more time. Most chicken broths made from whole soup chickens need 6 hours cooking time to release collagen, minerals and flavour to the broth. Beef and lamb broths consisting of large bones should be cooked for 16 to 18 hours. Do not exceed 18 hours cooking time, otherwise the broth may get a sticky taste.
5. How should a good broth be?
A well made meat broth shimmers yellow-golden or brownish and has a strong, but not obtrusive meat taste. An unsalted broth without glutamate has a very discreet, slightly sweet taste. And that’s what you want to taste on your plate: pure, natural ingredients that are neither over-salted nor artificially flavoured.
A good bone broth should also gel when cold. This is a real quality feature, because it means that the collagen has come loose from the bones and your broth has formed gelatine. Collagen is the most common protein in the human body and makes it resistant and flexible. Collagen ensures beautiful skin and hair (see also What effects does broth have – skin, hair, nails), a firm connective tissue, healthy joints (see also What effects does broth have – joints) and also promotes intestinal health (see also What effects does broth have – gastrointestinal health).
A high-quality broth contains a considerable amount of B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals and trace elements. It is precisely these ingredients that make a well-made broth a very important part of a balanced diet and which should be part of your daily diet. Broth can not only be eaten as a soup and base for other dishes, but it can also be drunk. Instead of water, tea or juice.
Food has an influence on our general condition – but also on our immune system. Our diet influences the bacterial flora in the intestines. If you eat too much fat and sugar and at the same time too little protein and fibre, you will inevitably reduce your intestinal flora. And this has negative effects on our immune system, as it is closely related to intestinal health.
6. instant broth test
Homemade broths are therefore in most cases the best choice in terms of nutritional value and taste. But of course there are also some – few – high-quality finished products on the market that will save you work and time in the kitchen. Chef Andreas Rehberger tested various vegetable broths in 2017. The result: Many of the supermarket broths failed the test – including the organic products. The professional criticized a slightly musty or earthy smell, a bready finish, inharmonic taste components, memories of the typical stock cube taste, overly spicy yeast extract and too strong celery notes. Some of the broths tested also had a high salt and/or sugar content. Only one vegetable broth received the grade “Very good” from him: the Demeter vegetable broth from the ecovillage Brodowin. The list of ingredients is as it should be: short. Drinking water, onions, carrots, celery vegetables, pepper, sea salt, pimento, laurel – that’s all it takes to put a tasty broth on the table. The same goes for a good meat and bone broth.
You want to know more and get a general overview about the topic broth? Click here to read the article : BRÜHE – ALL WHAT MAN KNOWS SHOULD BE
Superfood Knochenbrühe – Ariane Resnick
Brodo – Marco Canora