Bone Broth Quality: What to Look For and Avoid

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Adding bone broth powder to your routine is a great way to support healthy skin and joints while also bumping up your intake of protein. However, not all bone broth is created equal. While some types of bone broth contain high-quality ingredients derived from sustainable, cruelty-free sources, others are often pumped full of fillers, preservatives and undesirable ingredients.

In this article, we’ll cover a few of the factors to consider when evaluating bone broth quality and how to pick the right product for you.

What to Look for in Bone Broth

When purchasing bone broth, it’s important to check the bone broth nutrition facts and ingredients label carefully and look for products free of fillers, additives and artificial sweeteners. Instead, products should contain bone broth protein concentrate, derived from either chicken or beef.

Selecting high-quality bone broth can also help ensure that your product isn’t made with genetically modified ingredients. You may also want to opt for a high-quality bone broth produced from cruelty-free, cage-free sources, without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

Figuring out where to buy bone broth is also important. Be sure to purchase from a reputable retailer and pick products that have undergone third-party testing, adhering to the highest quality standards. 

What to Watch Out For (and Avoid)

When buying bone broth protein, steer clear of products that contain lots of food additives and fillers, such as vegetable broth or stock. Instead, check the ingredients label for bone broth protein concentrate, which can ensure that you’re getting the best bone broth quality possible.

Some products may also contain potentially harmful ingredients hidden under different names, such as yeast extract, also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Although MSG is often used to enhance the flavor of foods, it has been linked to several undesirable effects on health and may also cause certain side effects in some people.

Maltodextrin is another common ingredient that you may want to avoid. Maltodextrin is a food thickener and preservative used to extend the shelf life and improve the texture of many products. Even though it’s made from foods like rice, corn or potatoes, it’s also highly processed and has a high glycemic index, meaning that it may affect blood sugar levels quickly.

For those following a low-sodium diet, it’s important to check the nutrition label carefully. Many products contain high amounts of sodium and can put you over your daily limit with just a serving or two.

Quality Bone Broth Characteristics

So how do you pick the best bone broth powder for you?

Besides picking products that are made without fillers, additives and antibiotics, you may also want to look for a brand that has undergone third-party quality testing. At Ancient Nutrition, all Bone Broth Protein products are backed by a quality promise that you can count on. In fact, many of our products have been independently tested for chemicals, residual solvents, methylcarbonates and organophosphates to ensure the best bone broth quality possible.

Picking an unflavored product can also be beneficial, especially if you’re planning to add it to bone broth recipes like protein bars, shakes, smoothies or soups. Bone Broth Protein Pure (on our store), for example, is a high-quality bone broth that is unflavored and unsweetened, making it a great option to have on hand in your pantry. Other flavored varieties are also available if you prefer, including chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel and turmeric.

Ideally, you should also select organic bone broth or bone broth that is sourced from non-GMO, cruelty-free sources, including grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken.

Final Thoughts

  • When picking the best bone broth powder to drink, be sure to check the ingredients label carefully and avoid products that contain fillers, additives and preservatives.
  • You should also pay close attention to the sodium content and check for other added ingredients like yeast extract and maltodextrin. 
  • Look for products that contain bone broth protein concentrate and are sourced from non-GMO, pasture-raised chicken or grass-fed beef.
  • Finally, be sure to purchase from a reputable retailer and check for products that have undergone third-party testing to evaluate bone broth quality and ensure that products are tested for harmful chemicals and contaminants.

Rachael Link, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at the University of Central Missouri and later received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Rachael is passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys providing easy-to-understand information to readers looking to support their health.

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