Why you should avoid cube broths

Their aromas help us to perfume our small dishes with less effort. However, cube broths remain ultra-processed products with often dubious compositions, to be consumed in moderation… or homemade!

They are slipped into the water of pasta or rice, crumbled in a soup or sauce. Broth cubes are culinary aids that could not be more practical. But they are still processed products, the composition of which often leaves something to be desired. In its latest issue, the Belgian association Test achats analyzed the composition of nearly 31 broths. Concentrates of additives, salt, sometimes even sugar and palm oil… Our culinary assistants are far from flawless.

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Beware of the “Chinese restaurant syndrome”

In the compositions of these broths, we find glutamates as well as flavor enhancers. Sodium glutamate is accused of being responsible for “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” a set of symptoms that occur, according to legend, after a meal at an Asian establishment. In reality, this syndrome would occur after the consumption of any food containing sodium glutamate. It could cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, allergic reactions, headaches. At some doses, it could even be associated with an increase in insulin levels and blood pressure.

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Choosing the right cube broth

In the culinary aids department, it is better to read the labels before slipping the product into our shopping cart. Glutamates (identifiable under the names “additives E620” or “E625” for example), dyes E150d and E150c are avoided. And broths with less than 0.6g of salt per 100 ml and with a reasonable percentage of vegetables are preferred.

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The selection of cube broths from 60 Million consumers

Last year, 60 million consumers already called on us to be extra vigilant in the cube broths department. Too many additives, too much salt, hidden sugars, the presence of palm oil… The composition of these “flavor enhancers” was again pointed out. The association had also made a comparison on nearly 34 references of dehydrated broths (vegetables and poultry), veal bottoms, and fish fumets. The highest-rated products by the magazine were: Priméal Organic Vegetable Non-Salt Vegetable Broth, Organic Garden Vegetable Cube Broth, and Organic Village Poultry Flavor Broth – Marque Repère. On the other hand, the compositions of Kania poultry broths sold at Lidl, those of the Auchan brand, and Dilecta and Knorr chicken broths were the least exemplary.

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The recipe for homemade cube broth

It is, therefore, better to concoct them yourself to avoid additives and have a lighter hand on salt and sugar. And for that, nothing could be simpler. To obtain a poultry cube broth, place in pot onions and vegetables of your choice (turnip, leeks, celery …) diced, a bouquet garnished, and a chicken carcass. Season, bring everything to a boil, and then simmer over low heat for about an hour. Strain your broth and let it cool. Then pour it into the ice cube tray and freeze it. This will give you tasty and healthy broths at your fingertips. This recipe is available in meat, fish, vegetables, and herbs.

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