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Label Able: Nigari

I just reread the label of my favorite mac-n-cheese alternative, the Country Cheddar Bowl by Amy's Kitchen, and happened to catch something on the list of ingredients that I didn't recognize — nigari. In parentheses it says "magnesium chloride, a natural firming agent," but that use of the word "natural" didn't make me feel any better.

I trust food from Amy's Kitchen because it's made with such wholesome ingredients, so nigari can't be bad for me, right? I decided to do a little research. To find out what I discovered,


Magnesium chloride is a salt that's highly soluble in water. In Japan, it's known as nigari, derived from the Japanese word for "bitter." It's a white powder made from seawater after the sodium chloride has been removed and the water evaporated. It's an important coagulant used when making tofu or soy milk and is also found in baby formula. Well, that's a relief. I knew Amy wouldn't steer me wrong.

Join The Conversation
heart-of-steele heart-of-steele 8 years
OMG this looks amazing!!!
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
Love the meals Amy's Kitchen makes/sells. I read the label(s) anyway however it is nice to find a brand that stays true to their word. I have yet to find any issues with Amy's items.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't get it; it SAYS that it's magnesium chloride right on the label, so what's the big worry about? Magnesium chloride is just an different kind of salt that has no sodium in it. Potassium chloride is also used in things that are "low sodium" to mimic saltiness.
greekbabe84 greekbabe84 8 years
great job fitsugar! I really need to start reading labels closer!
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
I think these label-able articles are great, but I still wouldn't call white pasta with cheese "wholesome".
rodrive rodrive 8 years
haha, you made me kind of nervous.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
I'm beginning to pay more attention to labels, etc., having been lax about it. This info is great.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
I eat Amy's all the time bc of their Gluten Free choices - I have Celiac & Crohn's Disease and it's hard to find tasty ready made items. Her products are lovely.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
thanks for investigating this! I love Amy's products but it is nice to always be critical and re-read things
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