Review of Annie Chun’s Roasted Wasabi Seaweed Snacks
seaweed, canola oil, wasabi flavor powder (maltodextrin, salt, modified corn starch, mustard oil), sesame oil, and brown sugar
Comments on package
Here’s your chance to discover a delicious new snack that’s bursting with flavor and chock-full of vitamins and minerals to keep you going all day long. Our Korean seaweed is roasted to perfection and then seasoned with a dash of salt, sesame seed oil, and wasabi powder creating a savory taste sensation that promises to excite your palate. Go ahead. Indulge. Your friends will have culture envy.
Serving Size: 10 sheets (5g)
Servings Per Container: 2
|Amount Per Serving|
Calories 30 Calories from Fat 20
|Vitamin A 25%||Vitamin C 6%|
|Not a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, sugars, calcium, and iron.|
*Percentage Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
This is the first product that I have come across that claims to be wasabi that has neither wasabi or horseradish as an ingredient. This really is the manufacturer treating the purchaser as an idiot. I would regard this as false advertising at the very least and is a bad example of marketing going mad. It is for this reason that you are being asked to join the Stop Coloured Horseradish being called Wasabi! Campaign to try and get the protection we need from this “faux” wasabi!
Anyway, now I have got that rant off my chest, lets move onto the product itself.
The wasabi seaweed snacks packaging has a thermometer on the front of the package which I suppose is to indicate they the snacks are hot. Personally, I didn’t think they were that hot, but they were tasty and a bit sweet for my taste.
In their advertising blurb, the manufacturer states that the product is seasoned with “wasabi powder” and yet it does not contain any wasabi, but only mustard. This surely is deliberately misleading the purchaser as to the contents of the package.
The ingredients list was interesting to say the least. There was no wasabi or horseradish in the product. They should be calling these snacks “Mustard Seafood Snacks”, but I suppose that the marketing whiz kids decided that using “Wasabi” instead would increase sales. The problem here is that I think they have left themselves open to the threat of litigation for false advertising and potentially fraud, and have lowered the value of their brand.
There is no indication what seaweed is being used. There are many edible seaweeds available and some are more nutritious than others. It would be better if they stated what the seaweed type was. The canola oil is likely to be the Genetically Modified one as that is the bulk of the canola oil produced and available on the world market.
Maltodextrin is a rather common additive to a number of different types of foods, and is classified as a sweet polysaccharide. While containing sweet qualities, maltodextrin is considered to contain fewer calories than sugar. While considered to be a carbohydrate, maltodextrin is understood to be more easily digested than some other forms of carbohydrates, leaving behind less of the potential for health issues. There are a number of people who are intolerant to Maltodextrin especially if suffering from type 2 Diabetes. This really isn’t a good choice as a filler or sugar substitute in this product. In fact the question needs to be asked is why the stuff together with the brown sugar is even being used. The product is supposed to be a spicy snack, not a sweet snack.
Modified corn starch is an additive that’s made by treating starch, which modifies one or more of its physical properties. This change may affect the texture, how fast it dissolves, or how easily it can be digested. It’s added to foods to act as a thickener, to acquire a certain texture, or to keep foods moist. In this product I am unsure what it is being used for except maybe as a carrier for the mustard oil. Modified Corn Starch does not add any nutritional value to food, and people who have gluten allergies should stay away from this ingredient though, unless a food containing it is labeled “gluten free.” This product does not carry this label.
The term mustard oil is used for three different oils that are made from mustard seeds. Which one of these is in this product?
- A fatty vegetable oil resulting from pressing the seeds,
- An essential oil resulting from grinding the seeds, mixing them with water, and extracting the resulting volatile oil by distillation.
- An oil made by infusing mustard seed extract into another vegetable oil, such as soybean oil.
The answer of course, is whatever one is the cheapest. My guess would be the last one in the list.
There appears to be cross-reactivity between sesame allergens and peanut. Allergy to peanuts is one of the most common allergies, and in rare cases, can lead to anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. Although the prevalence of sesame allergy in US is low relative to peanut allergy, the severity of sesame allergy should not be underestimated. Persons allergic to sesame seeds should be cautious about using sesame oil. There is no warning label on the package.
Reviewers Final Say
This product is a lie from start to finish. Not only is there no wasabi or even horseradish in the product there are ingredients (maltodextrin and sesame oil for example) that in my opinion requires allergy warning labels on the packaging.
The taste of the product is pleasant but not really anything like the wasabi taste. In fact, I think that the product should be renamed “Mustard flavoured Seaweed Snacks.” They are crunchy and fill you up, but suspect that you could make your own at home with a few sheets of nori and a sprinkling of mustard oil for a lot less than being asked by this manufacturer.
I would recommend that you leave this product alone because of their use of the word “wasabi” purely as a marketing ploy and not as a true descriptor of their product, together with the possibility of having an allergic reaction to the ingredients used.
Perhaps I will read about the company being taken to Court for false advertising. 🙂