Which Chicken Essence Tastes The Best: BRAND’s, New Moon or Eu Yan Sang?

Chicken Essence Singapore

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?

Chicken Essence Benefits

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:

Review of 4 slimming centres – which treatment was most effective?

Bak kwa brands – which has the most tasty bak kwa?


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Interview with Mok Ying Ren plus BRAND’S Essence of Chicken GIVEAWAY

Mok Ying Ren

1. You’ve said that “Life is like a marathon” and if you look at how far you’ve already ‘run’, what would you say you are most grateful for, and what are some challenges you’ve overcome and also learnt important lessons from?

I am grateful for all the support I have from my family and friends who have been with me on this journey. When I first announced my 3 year campaign, including one year of no pay leave, to attempt to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics in 2012, I was met with much resistance from some of my peers and colleagues. Many felt that the one year of no pay leave will set me back very much in my medical career which is highly competitive. However, my family and close friends encouraged me to do so and I am grateful for that.

I think one of the key challenges I had to overcome was the social mindset and peer pressure. It is no surprise that in Singapore collegiate sports are at a much lower standard than our secondary school sports scene. This is because of the sudden increase in freedom and social activities. As a student athlete, it was tough to stay focused on the task when not many are beside you with the same goals. This is a challenge that will be faced by every generation of athletes in Singapore until we are able to develop a strong collegiate sports system like in Japan or the USA where there will be more athletes gunning for the same goals.

Another challenge that I have been forced to face are injuries. Unlike other goals such as academics and career, there is almost no risk in studying harder or working harder. Even though working too hard may not be good for your mental health, one will not get a brain injury from studying too hard.This is in contrast to sports where sometimes training more or training harder does not give you guaranteed success as the irony is that one may get injured from training too hard. I have been rather unfortunate to be sidelined for almost a year in June 2014 to June 2015 due to a shin injury. That was a huge blow to my preparations.

2. What is a typical day in your life like right now, as you are training to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016?

Currently I am training in Boulder, Colorado with the Boulder Track Club. My coach is Lee Troop, a three-time olympian in the Marathon event for Australia. I usually wake up at about 6:20am and have my breakfast. After about an hour, I will have my first training session which usually lasts for about 2 hours.

Thereafter, I will spend some time studying as I am also doing a distance learning course (Masters in Sports Medicine) with the University of Queensland, Australia. I will then cook my own lunch at about 11:30 which consists of a huge bowl of salad, rice and eggs. I will then take an hour nap after my lunch. At about 3pm, I will head out for my second training session which lasts about 90minutes.

In the evening, I will have dinner with my house mates. Then more studying or reading and preparation to sleep! The cycle repeats on a daily basis. A lot of time is spent preparing for each training session which consists of getting sufficient sleep and good nutrition.

3. What, to you, is “good goal-setting”?

A good goal is a goal that is achievable but challenging at the same time. One needs to do a thorough evaluation on where he is and the resources available around him to help him achieve the goal. For example, in 2012, I wanted to aim to qualify for the Olympics in 2016 for the marathon event. I then had a best time of 2hr 26min and to qualify for the Olympics, I would need to run 2hr 17min. To shave off 9 minutes is challenging but not unheard off. I have read of runners who had improved that much in a few years and I was positive that I could do it.

I had confidence in my motivation to run when I was working (I was working as a house officer then and will need to also serve my national service in 2013-2015). It was something that could be achieved if all the stars are aligned but as I mentioned, you also need to take into account the nature of your profession and whether simply working hard can lead you to your goals.

4. You recently injured your eye, and what surprises me is that you went for a 40-minute run instead of heading straight to a doctor or hospital first. What made you do that? 

Indeed, on hindsight, I think it was a silly thing to do. However, I think this is not uncommon among competitive athletes like myself who can be stubborn at times. We are known to train through pain and discomfort and perhaps we are very positive as well that nothing very bad can happen! Instead what was on my mind was to get the last run for the week in and hope that perhaps the blurriness in my vision may go away after a relaxing run. I will not encourage anyone to do what I did.

5. Did thoughts/fears of not being able to see after that accident cross your mind? What would be the ‘worst case scenario’ for you, and what do you think would be your response to that?

Yes. During that short run right after the accident, I thought of my career. I had been selected to begin training in Orthopaedic Surgery in July 2016. I was sure that being blinded in one eye, which is the worse case scenario, I would not be able to perform surgery as depth perception would be very much affected. But I thought to myself that I could perhaps still do Sports Medicine as a specialty which does not involve surgery and still survive. Perhaps it was natural for me to try to think positive but at the same time prepare for the worst. And I told myself losing vision in one eye is not as bad as being totally blind!

6. You are a pretty rare example of a local sporting talent who is strongly supported by various sponsors, and you even appear in commercials too. What are the reasons for your success in this aspect, and have you thought about ‘giving back’ to the local sporting scene in future? 

I think the key to garnering sponsorships is to give back to the local sporting scene on a regular basis from the get go, which I am already involved in. I do pro bono running clinics with running events, schools and the community and I strongly advocate sports and exercise to keep one healthy.

I relate well with student athletes and have given multiple talks at junior colleges on key aspects of juggling sports and studies. With some of my friends, I have also set up the Run to Walk movement which is to encourage people to invest in their health through running and we have a free weekly 4.8km run at Bedok Reservoir.

Due to my ability to connect with the community, sponsors then want to come into the picture to support my dreams and not the other way round. My next goal is to pursue my dreams in specialising in Sports Surgery which will take me another 8-10 years. Thereafter, I would be excited to serve the local sports community in a different way.


Mok Ying Ren is a marathoner, doctor and an ambassador of BRAND’S Essence of Chicken. He is a two-time SEA games gold medalist in the triathlon and marathon events and is currently taking time off as an orthopaedic surgery resident to pursue his Olympic dream in the marathon event.


BRANDS giveaway

BRAND’S would like to reward three of my blog readers with a week’s worth of GET SET 4 LIFE BRAND’S Essence Of Chicken (7 bottles) EACH! 😀 To participate, head over to my facebook page for the giveaway 🙂

BRAND’S CNY Gift Hamper: For The First 20!

BRAND’S sent over a gift hamper yesterday! 😀 It contained BRAND’S Essence of Chicken and Bird’s Nest, with a pack of angbaos. YOU can win a CNY Gift Hamper too! (Details below)

BRAND'S Essence of Chicken

BRAND’S Essence of Chicken:

  • Contributes to a relaxed mood
  • Increases mental concentration
  • Improves short-term memory
  • Regular consumption helps improve immunity;
  • Alleviates task-induced stress;
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Boosts energy
  • Increases levels of stress tolerance

BRAND'S Bird's Nest

BRAND’S Bird’s Nest:

  • Glycoprotein helps enhance immunity, cleanses lungs
  • Prevents ‘internal dryness’
  • Helps maintain youthful, smooth and wrinkle-free skin
  • Helps stimulate appetite and aid digestion

WIN a BRAND’s CNY Gift Hamper!

Be one of the first 20 customers to flash this invite on your mobile phone at the BRAND’S roadshow:

BRANDS roadshow

Can’t make it on Jan 16 or 17? Then head over to any of the other roadshows for a chance to win from BRAND’S 8 treasure boxes. Details at BRAND’S website:


Have a roaring good year! 😀


Interview with Dr Philip Tsang, Chief Scientist at BRAND’S®


[Email Interview]

1) What made you decide to be a neuroscientist and why the extensive research into Parkinson’s disease?

“Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations. And by this, in an especial manner, we acquire wisdom and knowledge… And by the same organ we become mad and delirious, and fears and terrors assail us… All these things we endure from the brain when it is not healthy… I am of the opinion that the brain exercises the greatest power in the man.” – Hippocrates, On the Sacred Disease

To me, this inspirational description of the brain summarizes my enthusiasm in neuroscience and the devotion towards deepening my understanding on how our brain functions. Advancements in technology and medicine have increased significantly the average life span of humans. In many parts of the world, particularly cities with great advancement in technology and economy, one of the socio-economic challenges that the society has to face is the ageing population and the requirement of vast amounts of resources to take care of the long-term needs of individuals suffering from disorders associated with ageing.

Parkinson’s disease is one of the major age-related disorders of the brain that has no effective treatment to cure or even delay the progression of the disorder. Interestingly, most of the cases of Parkinson’s disease do not have a clear and direct correlation with particular genetic factors. It is therefore an important question of how various environmental factors could possibly interact with our genes to result in the acceleration of the neuro-degenerative process. Understanding this will provide important insight into the progression of Parkinson’s disease and possibly provide reference to other neuro-degenerative diseases.

2) What are the main differences between male and female brains, and how does this affect us in terms of language ability, memory, concentration, spatial awareness and creativity?

The overall structures of our brain and the basic cognitive functions are mostly determined by our genes. However, our brain constantly receives information from the environment and is highly capable of fine-tuning its functions to adapt to the environment. Adaptations could be in the changes in the number of connections among the neurons (synapses), the amount of neurotransmitters that are responsible for the signal transmissions among the neurons, and the firing frequencies of the electrical signals passing through the neurons. All these determine the final outcome of the cognitive performance. Therefore, environmental factors like diet, enrichment of experiences (e.g. exposure to different learning environments), stress, infections, etc, play an important role influencing our cognitive performance.

3) What are the top 3 gender-related myths about the brain?

The top 3 gender-related myths about the brain are:

  • Myth 1: Brain size is proportionately linked to intelligence. Women’s brains are typically 8% smaller than the brains of men, so they are considered to be innately less intelligent. However, this is not true as if absolute brain size were all that mattered, large mammals such as whales and elephants – both of which have larger brains than humans – would outwit humans in terms of intelligence.

  • Myth 2: Male and female brains are shaped by their respective “male” and “female” hormones – essentially, that males have generally more testosterone while females have more estrogen. While males generally have more testosterone and females have more estrogen, the truth is that both men and women have both hormones as these hormones have other functions – for example, the female brain requires testosterone to develop and maintain libido while the male brain requires estrogen for normal brain development and sustenance.

  • Myth 3: Men are naturally better in Math and women are naturally better in verbal tasks. This is untrue as the differences seen in such cognitive tests are not a true reflection of innate differences. Instead, other factors come into play – such as the influence of the social environment.

4) How can we increase the ‘fitness level’ of our brains? How much do Sudoku puzzles and mahjong help, anyway? 

Brain fitness can be defined as the optimal state of cognitive performance. It requires proper and efficient communications among the neurons in the brain.  This depends on the efficiency of the electrical (in forms of action potentials) and chemical (communications among neurons at the synapses, gaps between neurons) signals passing through the neurons. The efficiency of communication in turn depends on the proper structure of the brain (i.e. with sufficient number of neurons and their proper functioning). Therefore, to maintain brain fitness, brain health is important.

To maintain peak cognitive performance, it is first important to have a good and healthy lifestyle that provides us with a balanced diet, sufficient sleep and exercise. This can help to maintain a healthy brain that can perform properly.

Also, maintaining a mentally active lifestyle is important as it engages our brain to actively acquire and integrate new information from our environment. This is the principle of “use it or lose it”. As we learn, we not only increase in our knowledge, our brain is also changing its very structure and increasing its capacity to learn. Unlike the computer, the brain is constantly adapting itself. The more actively we engage our brain in various cognitive activities (e.g. being active at work, participating and socializing in our leisure time), the more efficient our brain will become so that we can learn and perceive with greater precision, speed, and retention of information.

On the other hand, some environmental factors such as chronic stress have negative effects on cognitive performance and can limit the brain from functioning at its optimal condition.

5) I used to drink many bottles of BRAND’s Essence of Chicken when preparing for exams. I know it really helped me stay awake and focused, but I do not know how exactly. So, what is the science behind this?

Brain foods such as BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken can help to boost brain health.  Carnosine, an active ingredient naturally found in BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken, is a powerful peptide which has positive effects on brain health. Good brain health and boosted brain fitness, lead to mental sharpness.

Mental sharpness is a desired state of ideal cognitive performance, characterized by a brain that is functioning at optimal performance, with the ability to focus, recall, concentrate, learn and comprehend well.


BRANDS Essence of Chicken

BRANDS sent me some chicken essence (the original flavor plus 3 other flavors). I have grown to love the original flavor of BRANDS chicken essence so even though the other flavors are interesting, I believe I’ll still stick to what I love best. 😀

The chicken essence with tangkwei tastes closest to the original, with cordyceps a close second. I think the american ginseng with chicken essence is truly an acquired taste – it is rather bitter, so I don’t count myself a fan of it. 😀

I think chicken essence is great on those days when I really need a perk-me-up boost. I don’t drink ‘red bull’ ‘cos of the high sugar content. And if you ask me, I’d really recommend the original flavor of BRANDS essence of chicken. I kinda grew up with it! 😀

5 Foods I Eat To Boost My Energy & Health

Sometimes I marvel at my own ability to accomplish the impossible in just one day. Like you, of course, there are times when I WISH there are more than 24 hours in a day so I can complete all the tasks I have set out to do!

Take for instance, that very CRAZY day last week when I did not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR kiwi creations:

Zespri Kiwi Creations

It may not look like much, at a glance. But imagine having to conceptualize, create, and eventually blog about all of these in just one day? I didn’t even have time for lunch!

When it’s a really hectic, crazy day, I count on these little fellas to help me out, in boosting my energy levels (so I don’t tire out easily) and in keeping me healthy (once I’m ill, no work gets done!)…

Five Foods for Health and Energy

(left to right: Bananas, Stephen James Organics energy bars and nuts, BRANDS essence of chicken, BRANDS InnerShine, Avocados)

First up, the fruits…

Bananas and Avocados

Besides aiding in bowel movements, bananas are great for that energy boost to get you through the day. A plus is that bananas are high in potassium and also help restore lost electrolytes after your workout. Bananas are also great for making delicious smoothies! 🙂

And avocados are one of my favorite breakfasts! A well-ripened avocado is super delicious. Avocados provide a lot of health benefits (just google it!) too as a plus!

And for those days when I just don’t have the time for a meal, or when I need a quick power-up, I count on my Stephen James energy bars:

Stephen James energy bars and nuts

I bring those bars with me everywhere! From plane rides to water rides at Adventure Cove Waterpark, to rock-climbing lessons! I just stick one into my pocket and gobble it down whenever I am feeling tired and/or hungry.

My favorite is the Organic Brownie Bar – it is amazing! You should go try one, seriously. They are available at most organic foodstores or you can simply purchase them online.

On the recent trip to Seoul to catch Wolverine, Scoot gave me Pringles and Coca-Cola at every meal. I passed those on to the blogger seated next to me (‘cos she’s a Coke and chips fan) and I survived on my energy bars, pili nuts, and good ol’ plain water. No loss, really! 😀

And don’t even get me started on the pili nuts, they are out-of-this-world delicious. You may have tried walnuts, peanuts, groundnuts, almonds, pistachios etc, but you have not really tried good nuts till you have eaten these pili nuts. It has an amazing buttery taste and the best part is that you can indulge without any guilt!

And of course, there’s BRANDS:

BRANDS products

I’ve always had BRANDS essence of chicken since I was a student. I’ve spent many sleepless nights armed with just chicken essence for battling my history texts! I majored in History at NUS, if you don’t already know. 😀 If you don’t have chicken essence with you at night, you are as good as dead when confronted by history texts which refuse to ‘come alive’.

Also, I’m actually drinking BRANDS Innershine for beauty purposes but the antioxidants in there are great for fighting disease!

Have you included any of the above in your daily diet? Leave me a comment below should you have any questions! 😀 Best question wins a box of chicken essence! <- Nah, I’m just kidding! But fire away! 😀