Believe it or not, but Fake Wasabia japonica rhizomes have arrived.
This is yet another fake product out of China, following on from fake eggs, fake rice, fake wasabi powder and fake infants milk powder.
My contacts in China have indicated that fale Wasabi rhizomes are made from textured soy that has been designed to mimic the feel of true Wasabia japonica rhizome when grated. To this they have added some true wasabi leaf or petiole to get the colour right and flavouring (dried allyl isothiocyanate).
Doing this the shape of the True rhizome is achieved by using moulds.
How can you tell the difference between the fake and true rhizomes?
From what I have been told it is almost impossible to tell the difference except with sophisticated laboratory testing. Apparently the fake rhizome acts like a true rhizome in terms of grating, looks and taste.
Using true wasabi leaf means that it will pass the DNA test, and if tested for ITC it will also pass. The only thing that may give it away is the fact that a soy substrate was used to make the fake wasabi rhizome. I don’t know enough about processing soy to know if even that could be disguised.
The only real difference seems to be in the uniformity of the end result when seen in groups such as the photo below.
I find it amazing that peoples ingenuity is expended in copying what nature gives freely, and all in the pursuit of money.
You can purchase 100% Pure Wasabia japonica rhizome powder here. This powder is freeze dried to retain all the ITC content and contains no additives.
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