More sugar than spice in herb mixes, Consumentenbond finds

Fresh herbs at a market. Photo:
Fresh herbs at a market. Photo:

So-called herb mixes often contain very few herbs and spices but are made up of large quantities of salt, crushed grains, sugars and ground vegetables instead, a probe by consumer watchdog Consumentenbond has found.

Mixes for meat sold by Lidl and Aldi turned out to have a salt content of 75% while Maggi’s were two thirds flour. Calvé salad mixes are mainly made up of sugar, the Consumentenbond found, and only had a 12% herb content.

‘The name and the packaging suggest that these products are packed with herbs,’ said Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar. ‘In reality producers stuff them with cheap ingredients. The chicken herb mix from Verstegen for example contains 3.5 grammes of salt per portion. That is half the recommended amount right there.’

The Consumentenbond is advocating stricter rules to curb misleading packaging and the use of excessive amounts of salt in these products. ‘Once again we see we can’t leave this to the producers,’ Molenaar said.

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