Consumers want "natural" foods. Free of pesticides, hormones, additives, preservatives, colourants and synthetic ingredients. This is a good thing. The food industry will have to adapt and give consumers what they want.

The move towards more natural and organic foods will grow. An ever increasing number of people are happy to pay a premium for what they believe are organic and natural foods. Food producers will target this, mostly because it's an opportunity to move into a higher margin less commoditised market.

The Organic industry is still in relatively early stages. The industry is largely self regulated, and still a very small part of the food we eat. There is no universal definition or standard for organic.

Strictly speaking for maize to be organic, it must be an organic seed, the farmer cannot use pesticides, he must manually manage weeds, he cannot use industrial fertilisers, can't make excess use of animal sewerage, can't plant too close or risk contamination from non-organic crops, needs to use crop rotations to maintain the nutrient in the soil, to convert previously fertilised soils the farmer needs to farm organically for three years before his crop can be called organic. Organic maize costs between 1.5 and 2 times more than other maize.

Organics have already had and will continue to have a positive impact on food preparation. Farmers are using less chemicals and looking at alternative solutions. Consumers will probably have to get accustomed to a sort of hybrid organic crop.

It's really difficult to source organic maize. And to be purely organic, the same process would have to apply to all other ingredients, vegetable oil, chilli powders, garlic etc.

Research to date has not shown that organic food is significantly healthier or more nutritious. A big issue for organic foods is that of food safety. It is not as easy to control pathogens through organic processes.

None of our products contain any animal derivatives, so "free range" isn't relevant.
Another emotional topic in food is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). Lots of people have strong views on GMO’s.

Perhaps a good starting point is to accept that every single food that we eat has been modified by humans in one way or another. Even before we heard the term GMO, maize had evolved from a grass into a grain bearing plant that cannot and does not exist without humans. There never was and never will be a wild natural maize plant. In the past humans modified their food by mostly selective breeding. With the advent of genetics, scientists are able to target specific genes to give an organism additional capabilities. The most common GMO is maize, which Monsanto have produced to increase the effectiveness of weedicides.

Many people find this very frightening and fear the unknown side effects of genetic tinkering. More so when it vests in the hands of profit driven corporations. And so we should proceed with caution. I certainly wouldn’t put my hand up to be the first person to try a new GMO food.

I’ve tried quite hard to find out more about the health risks associated with GMO maize. If there are any, or there is anything “proven”, then it is largely a minority view and there are certainly no obvious or visible problems. I have read the pro GMO claims that not one death or indeed human impairment has ever been linked to GMO maize. In 2013 worldwide production of maize was 856 million tons, most of it GMO. Nearly a billion tons consumed every year with no tangible side effects, this might not equal conclusive proof, but it certainly is compelling.

The South African maize crop was at last count more than 80% GMO. Every chicken, every cow, practically everything we eat contains or contained GMO maize. It is also difficult and expensive to source non GMO maize. We could do it, but it would significantly increase the cost of our snacks. Paying too much for a snack is not that much fun either.

Many people are concerned with Gluten these days. Those with Celiac disease, about 1% have severe reactions to Gluten and a further 3% to 6% have what is called Non Celiac Gluten intolerance, which now seems to be caused by something other than Gluten also found only in wheat.

Gluten is only found in wheat. Maize and potato snacks are “naturally Gluten Free”.
Apart from Maize, our other big ingredient is vegetable oil.

We use Palm Kernel Oil, which is a very stable oil.
Unlike other snack companies we blend all our flavours ourselves, so we know more about what goes into each chip.

We try to use natural foods and ingredients that can be found in our customer’s cupboards at home. Good old things like, garlic, black pepper, cheese, onion, paprika, cloves, tomatoes, sea salt and chilies.
Everybody enjoys a snack from time to time.

What we are offering is a moment of fun, an exciting taste experience, a little escape from the day, or a tasty little nibble that keeps the hunger pangs at bay. It is not a complete meal.

Our little snack of fun needs to be safe, and it needs to care about the people who eat it.

Because we make snacks, we need to do more homework and be absolutely certain that what we offer is healthy and safe. What’s good for you and what’s not can be confusing and every person has a unique view. Many people will disagree with our thoughts and conclusions. We don't profess to be experts, and what we "know" today could look different tomorrow.
What is MSG?
MSG stands for Mono Sodium Glutamate. It is the name given to synthetically manufactured glutamate, first made by The Ajinomoto company more than 100 years ago. It is usually made from sugar cane. It is used as a flavour enhancer. Glutamate provides a flavour sensation called Umami which is described as a “pleasant savoury taste”. Annual production of MSG was 1.7m tons in 2013.

What is Glutamate?
Glutamate is produced by the human body. It is found in all protein containing foods and especially in mother’s milk, cheese, tomatoes, yeast and some green vegetables. Chemically both Glutamate and MSG are absolutely identical and our bodies treat them in the same way. The average American consumes 11g of natural glutamate from food every day of which one gram is added by manufacturers. Our bodies produce about 50 grams of glutamate per day. Human milk has 10 times more MSG in it than cow’s milk. If you were breastfed, then your first meal was full of MSG/Glutamate.

Marketing
Initially products were sold as "MSG free", now the labelling says "No added MSG". If they were really concerned about a potential health problem with MSG why not say "contains MSG" on all those products where it occurs?

Is MSG bad for you?
The short answer is I honestly don’t think so. (T&C’s apply – everything in moderation). There is some recent “research” that claims MSG/Glutamate affects and excites the brain in a way that may be detrimental. This may or may not be true and has mostly been rejected my mainstream science, but if added MSG makes up only 1g of the 62g our bodies process each day, then I would submit that the risks attached to added MSG are quite low.

A great deal is made of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS) which claims that food high in MSG gives people headaches. It’s a claim that is widely accepted as false. This is an amusing TV trial on CRS. Refer link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW__LPYTlk0

Both the US Federal Drug Administration and the Australian and New Zealand Health Authority, conclude that MSG is completely safe for human consumption.

Our conclusion’s and thoughts on MSG MSG/Glutamate is much needed by the human body to remain healthy. It is an extremely effective salt replacer. 1g of MSG gives the same salty taste as 10 grams of salt. Generally foods without MSG are higher in salt. Those that are too low in salt are often inedible and require that the consumer drenches it with salt to render it palatable.

We encourage you to make up your own mind. There are many websites that knock MSG. We think that the link below is independent well researched and a good starting point, and please read what the US FDA has to say on this subject. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2005/jul/10/foodanddrink.features3

US FDA link on MSG: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm328728.htm