This is part of a review series of “Wasabi” products that are being sold around the world either in shops or over the Internet. Most if not all products labelled as containing “Wasabi” are FAKE.
To obtain the list of “Wasabi” products that we have reviewed then click here.
The ingredients and product description below have been taken directly from the details on the items packaging or advertising information.
Sushi Chef Wasabi (Powdered Horseradish) jar 1oz
Ingredients list (from package)
Powdered Horseradish, Mustard, and Artificial Color (Including Yellow No. 5).
Product Description (from advertising)
This high quality Wasabi is a powerful, nose tingling condiment. It is made from a knobby green root that grows wild along the banks of mountain streams.
The ingredient list does not show any true wasabi (Wasabia japonica) is contained in this product, but the product description states that it does.
Horseradish, to my knowledge, is not “a knobby green root that grows wild along the banks of mountain streams.” The description used is that of Wasabia japonica.
Is this another example of marketing hyperbole (false advertising in the popular jargon)?
See the comments below about the Artificial coloring used in the product.
The label states “Including Yellow No. 5”, which implies other coloring is included which the manufacturer does not want to tell you about.
Yellow #5 is Tartrazine and as such requires a special warning on food packages sold in the European Union. No such warning requirement exists in the United States, although Tartrazine (or Yellow No. 5) is always supposed to be identified on ingredients lists when used in packaged foods. Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly among asthmatics and those with an aspirin intolerance.
Hyperactivity in Children
In children, yellow #5 has been found to cause hyperactivity. The FSA (Food Standards Agency) in Britain released a warning about yellow #5 and other food dyes in 2008, stating that they may cause hyperactivity and loss of concentration in children. They recommended that parents restrict the use of products containing these dyes.
Anxiety and Depression
In people sensitive to tartrazine, anxiety and depression, fatigue, headaches, and sleep problems have been reported.
Hives and itching have been reported in people who are sensitive to yellow #5.
People with asthma have been found to be especially sensitive to yellow #5, which can trigger their condition. Those whose asthma is triggered by aspirin may be the most sensitive to yellow #5.
Yellow #5 can sometimes be tainted with the carcinogenic chemicals benzidine and 4-aminob ciphenyl or with chemicals that can be converted into those chemicals by the body.
Labelling on this product seems to be inadequate with not all ingredients being disclosed, but hinted at.
Also the product description is misleading as there is no wasabi in the product and yet the description states there is.
I would suggest that you keep clear of this product and look for something else that actually is honest in its labelling and advertising.
The fact that there is no artificial flavoring shown on the label is the only thing that is moving the wasabiness rating from zero, but that in my view does not give the product any value or legitimacy.
It is also apparent that there is a distinct likelihood that there are undisclosed ingredients in this product. This makes it very dangerous for those who suffer from undiagnosed allergies.
We have put together a Wasabi List, which contains information on a number of “wasabi” products currently on the shelf near you, or available from the Internet. We have analysed these products and produced a list which details what is actually in these products. You can get your FREE Wasabi List from here.