What is Marmite?
Is Marmite healthy? Before talking about the ingredients of Marmite, let’s talk about its history. Marmite, a dark and thick food spread is invented by German scientist Justus von Liebig in the 19th century.
The name Marmite came from the French term for the large covered cooking pot, which is still depicted on the product’s label. The term is pronounced in French as “Marmeet”.
In 1902, The Marmite Food Company was founded in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire England where the raw material was readily available from the town’s brewers.
The original recipe contained salt, spices, and celery. Later, folic acid, vitamin B12, thiamin, and riboflavin were added in high concentrations.
Presently this by-product of beer is produced by Dutch-British Company Unilever.
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In 1912 during World War I, the British troops were issued a jar of Marmite as a part of their rations due to the high concentration of vitamin B.
During the 1930s, English scientist Lucy Wills successfully used Marmite to treat Anaemia in mill workers in Bombay India, thanks to the folic acid in it.
Marmite was used to treat malnutrition by Suriya-Mal workers during the 1934 and 1935 malaria epidemics in Sri Lanka.
Major ingredients of Marmite
No. 1 – Yeast Extract| Marmite Ingredients
Yeast extract is used to create savoury flavours and umami taste sensations. Yeast extract is rich in 7 numbers of B vitamins except vitamin B12.
It is made by using dried brewing sediments also known as brewers’ dried yeast. This process is starting by adding sugar to dried yeast in a warm environment so that the yeast can expands. Then enzymes in the yeast break down the proteins present in the yeast into smaller components and make the cell walls permeable.
Finally, the yeast extract is separated from the surrounding wall and dried.
No.2 – Salt
Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. It flavours food and is used as a binder and stabilizer.
This is also a food preservative, as bacteria can’t thrive in the presence of a high amount of salt. The human body requires a small amount of sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals.
Recently Marmite launches its reduced salt version, with 25% less salt than the original.
It is estimated that we need about 2.4g of sodium, or in other words, 6g of salt daily for above mentioned vital functions.
A typical 8g serving of Marmite contains 0.86g of salt, equivalent to 14% of an average adult’s daily reference intake. 8g serving of Marmite Reduced Salt contains 0.49g of salt equivalent to 8% of an average adult’s daily reference intake.
But too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also cause calcium losses, some of which may be pulled from the bone.
No.3 – Vegetable Extract | Is Marmite healthy?
This is chiefly made from peanuts and soya. The process uses hydrochloric acid to extract the substances and then is followed by neutralizing, filtering, decolorizing and concentrating processes.
The vegetable extract is added to improve the taste and the alimentary values of the Marmite.
No.4 – Niacin
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an important nutrient. Niacin is water-soluble, so our body doesn’t store it and excrete the excess amount.
Every part of our body needs it to function properly. Niacin is used by our body to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. It helps keep our nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy.
Another benefit of Niacin is, it increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol known as the “good” cholesterol, which helps remove low-density lipoprotein known as the “bad” cholesterol from our bloodstream. Other than that, Niacin has a role in producing certain hormones in the adrenal glands and helps remove harmful chemicals from the liver.
The recommended daily amount of Niacin for adult males is 16 milligrams a day, and for adult women who aren’t pregnant is 14 mg a day.
No.5 – Thiamin| Is Marmite healthy?
Vitamin B1 also known as Thiamin, is a water-soluble vitamin having a short half-life, so people require a continuous supply of it from their diet. Humans store Thiamin primarily in the liver, but in very small amounts.
Thiamin enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Thiamine is also used for AIDS and boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, ageing, and digestive problems.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for men ages 19 and older is 1.2 mg daily, and for women in the same age range 1.1 mg daily. For pregnancy and lactation, the amount increases to 1.4 mg daily.
No.6 – Spice Extracts | Marmite Ingredients
Marmite includes spice extracts to improve its taste and odour.
The composition of this is unspecified. But when it emerged that some people are allergic to celery, the European Union demanded that it be listed separately as an ingredient.
No.7 – Riboflavin | Is Marmite healthy?
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is one of the B vitamins, which are all water-soluble. It helps the body to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body.
It is required for the proper development of many things in the body including the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and brain function.
Vitamin B2 is also important for pregnancy health, and eye health and it reduced the risk of Cataracts and migraine headache attacks.
The normal recommended daily allowance of Riboflavin is dependent on age, gender, and reproductive status. RDA is 1.3 milligrams daily for men and 1.1 mg for women. A higher dose of 3 mg per day can help to prevent cataracts. Higher doses of up to 400 mg can be used to treat migraine headaches.
No.8 – Folic Acid | Marmite Ingredients
Folic acid is a form of folate, also called vitamin B9.
Folate is important for a range of functions in the body. It reduced the risk of neural tube birth defects and helps the body make new red blood cells and repair of DNA and other genetic material.
The recommended daily amount of folate for adults is 0.4 milligrams. Adult women who are planning a pregnancy or could become pregnant should be advised to get 0.4 to 0.8 mg of folic acid a day.
No.9 – Celery Extract | Marmite Ingredients
Celery is added to the spice extract, but when it emerged that some people are allergic to celery, the European Union demanded that it be listed separately as an ingredient.
Celery is a plant that can be eaten raw or cooked. Its seeds are small, light-brown, and have an earthy scent. Their flavour is warm and bitter. They are less common but used as a cooking spice.
Eastern medicine has used celery seeds for thousands of years to treat ailments like Bronchitis, skin disorders, and flu. Some practitioners of Chinese medicine use celery and celery extract to reduce blood pressure.
No.10 – Vitamin B12 | Marmite Ingredients
Vitamin B12 also known as Cobalamin, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins that our body cannot produce. B12 is the largest and most structurally complex vitamin.
It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis and both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. It is practically important in the normal functioning of the nervous system via its role in the synthesis of myelin, and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.
B12 may benefit our body in impressive ways, such as boosting energy, improving memory and helping prevent heart disease.
The recommended dietary allowances of vitamin B12 are 1.8 micrograms for older children, 2.4 micrograms for adults, 2.6 micrograms for pregnant women and 2.8 micrograms for breastfeeding women.
Further, Marmite’s PH levels vary from 5.0 to 5.8. It means Marmite is acidic. The latest researches have found that acidic food may increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by nearly 56%. Therefore it is recommended more alkaline diet for diabetes patients.
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