Chicken essence is something I’ve been drinking since my schooldays (many moons ago). Besides helping students stay awake during those crucial exam revision periods, chicken essence has all along been a great gift for those who are ill, have just undergone an operation, are pregnant, or who are our elders (and we don’t know what would be a good gift for them). But have you ever wondered what is in your bottle of chicken essence? How come it keeps you awake? How does it keep you alert? Are those halal chickens? How is chicken essence extracted? And which brand of chicken essence is the best?
Well, I decided to get all my questions answered once and for all, with some research done online and with a taste test done.
What Is In That Bottle Of Chicken Essence? How Was It Manufactured?
BRAND’S chicken essence contains 99.68% essence of chicken and 0.32% caramel. New Moon’s chicken essence has the same composition, in the exact same amounts. As for Eu Yan Sang, the company claims to use only 100% essence of chicken, with no caramel added. What is caramel? Caramel is found in candy, ice cream and other desserts and sweets, and it is formed when sugar or syrup is heated till it turns brown. It adds flavor and color to food and drink. I do suspect that caramel might be the reason why chicken essence keeps me awake when I’m studying for oh-so-boring History exams *yawn*. If the essence of chicken (on its own) can keep me focused and more alert, then wouldn’t drinking chicken soup have the same effect? (However, the caramel is added in such small quantities that my theory might be wrong :P)
On Eu Yan Sang’s website, however, it is stated that “Chicken essence contains high levels of glutamate. Physical fatigue may be due to accumulation of ammonia, after intense exercise. Glutamate plays an important role in modulating the ammonia detoxification to urea, relieving physical fatigue.”
How are these bottles of chicken essence manufactured?
New Moon uses the double-boiling technique. BRAND’S uses a rather complicated process – you can check out the link below. Whichever process they use, fat and cholesterol is removed so this is probably the biggest difference between drinking chicken soup and chicken essence. Also, all 3 brands sell halal-certified chicken essence.
~ The Taste Test ~
Since I’ve been drinking BRAND’S essence of chicken for a long time, and I am quite used to its taste, I thought I’d like it most. However after the taste test that my love and I did, we had different favorites.
Eu Yan Sang’s chicken essence was his favorite while my vote went to New Moon’s.
His explanation for his choice was that Eu Yan Sang’s chicken essence tasted like real chicken goodness. However, I thought it tasted almost bland, but had a very strong smell that I cannot describe as being pleasant.
As for New Moon’s, I didn’t detect as strong a smell and I really liked the taste. He thought it was really ‘concentrated’.
He said BRAND’S is a 老字号 (established brand name) and he had high hopes for the taste test, however he described BRAND’S chicken essence as being “powdery”. I cannot explain how he came to that conclusion as I didn’t detect any powdery substance. I did think that the other two brands of chicken essence tasted a little better during this taste test.
It’s clear that taste is indeed subjective. So, to find your favorite brand of chicken essence, I’d suggest you try one bottle from each brand and determine which is your preferred choice! 🙂
For more information, you can head on over to these webpages:
Other comparisons I’ve done:
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