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Balaji Wafers Chat masala is popular among kids and they gorge on it in huge quantities.
The product has nothing much going for it in terms of wholesomeness as its made of potatoes, dried vegetables, and is deep fried in palmolein oil.
The foodnetindia rating for this product:-
foodnetindia safety rating: 3 – (On a scale of 1 to 10 from very unsafe to very safe)
This product is rated below median safety grade at 3 because it is a deep fried starchy product and these products are usually consumed in quantities that are large enough to make them a lifestyle disease risk for many people.
This product contains palmolein oil which is generally a safe oil as unlike most other vegetable oils, palmolein is primarily saturated fat, it is better suited for cooking. It does not have too much PUFA, which can get oxidized under heat and is rendered toxic, but last year, the safety authority delivered a scientific report that current levels of glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil are a “potential health concern.”
Animal studies have identified these contaminants, which are formed when vegetable oils are heated to high temperatures and then refined, as both genotoxic (damaging to DNA) and carcinogenic (causing cancer). Of all vegetable oils, palm oil was found to have the highest levels of these contaminants. At high levels of exposure, these contaminants are a health hazard for all age groups, the authority concluded, expressing particular concern for infants, toddlers and children under the age of 10.
foodnetindia wholesomeness rating: 3 – (On a scale of 1 to 10 from very unbalanced nutrition profile to excellent nutrition profile)
The product is of a starch base because it primarily comprises of potatoes. Apart from starch, dried vegetables like onion and garlic and vegetable oil, it does not have much going for it in the wholesomeness department. This product must not be used as a meal replacement and we believe that it does not belong in a healthy, balanced meal plan, except in very small quantities.
Ingredients of concern in Balaji Wafers Chat masala

Sugar
This food product does not specify which sugar has been used. This is important because different sugars have different metabolic effects. For example, Sucrose (Cane Sugar) is very different from Fructose (Fruit Sugar). Some foods use high fructose corn syrup which may be harmful in much lower quantities than sucrose. We believe that it is not responsible behaviour for a brand to not clearly state what ingredients have been used.
A high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good ‘high’ followed by a crashing slump which leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods. It’s a vicious cycle that may be contributing to our weight problems as well as health concerns like diabetes and heart disease.
Salt
High sodium diets have been known to be the cause of high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. The recommended daily intake of salt is between 1-3 grams.
Flavour Enhancer: INS 627
Sodium salt of guanylic acid, is a natural acid, which is part of RNA, one of the genetic carrier molecules in the cell. It is thus part of all cells in all living organisms. Commercially prepared from yeast extract or sardines. It is used as a flavour enhancer.
Guanylic acid and guanylates do not have the specific umami taste but strongly enhance many other flavours, thereby reducing the amounts of salt needed in a product. Asthmatic people should avoid guanylic acid and guanylates. As guanylates are metabolised to purines, they should be avoided by people suffering from gout. However, the concentrations used are generally so low that no effects are to be expected.
Flavour Enhancer:  INS 631
Sodium salt of Inosinic acid , a natural acid, that is mainly present in animals. Commercially prepared from meat or fish (sardines). May also be produced by bacterial fermentation of sugars. As flavour enhancers, Inosinic acid and inosinates do not have the specific umami taste but strongly enhance many other flavours, thereby reducing the amounts of salt or other flavour enhancers needed in a product.

Asthmatic people should avoid inosinates. As inosinates are metabolised to purines, they should be avoided by people suffering from gout. However, the concentrations used are generally so low that no effects are to be expected.
Added Flavours: Natural and Nature Identical Flavouring Substances
This food product does not specify which flavours or flavouring substances have been used. The flavours should be specified as some of them have serious side effects and may not be suitable for infants, pregnant women or people who are allergic. We believe that it is not responsible behaviour for a brand to avoid clearly stating what ingredients have been used.
By not specifying what these flavours and substances are, we are forced to consider what they are hiding and why would they be so reluctant to mention what they have used in the food product!
By this behaviour, these manufacturers expose people to possible allergens or toxins that could be avoided if consumers knew what they were.
Other ingredients that are in the product but not a major source of concern in our opinion are:

  • Potato (88%)
  • Edible Vegetable oil (Palmolein)
  • Spices & Condiments 0.5%: Cumin Powder, Chilli Powder, Parsley, Ginger Powder, Cinnamon, Black Pepper powder, Dry Mango Powder
  • Dehydrated Vegetable Powder: Onion, Garlic
  • Acidity Regulator: INS 296INS 330
  • Anticaking Agent: INS 551
  • Maltodextrin

Disclaimer – The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. foodnetindia encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
The ingredients list of the product may have changed since this page was published. Consumers are encouraged to read warnings, labels, ingredient lists, etc.
Replies, if any, from the brand, will be published here ‘As is’

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