Physicochemical characterization and comparison of labels of beef bouillon cubes

Abstract This study aimed at determining the centesimal composition, the energy value and the sodium content in beef bouillon cubes and compare them with the nutritional information by the manufacturer. Beef bouillon cube samples were collected in supermarkets in of the city of Limoeiro do Norte/CE, and the levels of nutrients were determined by official analysis methods. The physicochemical analyses carried out were moisture, lipids, proteins, fixed mineral residue, total carbohydrates and sodium content. The beef bouillon cubes analyzed showed a low moisture content (3.23 – 4.23 g/100 g) and high levels of lipids (19.72 – 20.05 g/100 g) and fixed mineral residue (53.24 – 57.61 g/100 g). When compared to the data reported on their labels, all the parameters were in smaller amounts than the ones declared in all analyzed brands. The average sodium content found in the samples ranged from 758.5 to 815.5 mg/serving of the product. Considering that the results were based on a portion of broth and that these amounts are related to half a cube of beef bouillon, it becomes quite alarming the amount of sodium available in this type of product, since the food prepared with this ingredient is usually eaten alongside other foods, which also contain sodium in their composition.