Maggi onion soup has 11 ingredients total, including onion, wheat flour, skim milk powder, maize starch and vegetable fat, which contains some rosemary extract. Salt, milk lactose, food acid, soy sauce powder and flavor enhancer are the remaining ingredients.
The food acid and flavor enhancer in Maggi onion soup are food additives 332 and 635, respectively. These numbers correspond to the International Numbering System for Food Additives, which means the numbers correspond to the same additive the world over. Food acid 332 refers to potassium citrate, a potassium salt of citric acid.
As a food additive, potassium citrate helps to regulate food acidity. It also offers medicinal benefits; it is helpful for treating and managing gout and potentially alleviates the discomfort of excreting highly acidic urine. Its alkalinity lends potassium citrate to the treatment of mild urinary tract infections as well.
Flavor enhancer 635 denotes disodium ribonucleotides. Disodium ribonucleotides are essentially a combination of sodium salts found in guanylic acid and inosinic acid. As a flavor enhancer, 635 serves a similar function to monosodium glutamate, that is, to create the taste of umami. Umami, a loanword from Japanese, is the savory component of the five basic tastes, which include saltiness, bitterness, sourness and sweetness.
Flavor enhancer 635 as a source of umami is a common ingredient in packaged soups, flavored noodles, sauces, chips and fast food.