Is there starch in Wasabi?
The information below is a slightly modified response to a question we received a few days ago. which asked if there was Starch in Wasabi?
I thought it was interesting enough to include it on our website.
- Our nutrition panel shows included Carbohydrates, which is a natural part of the Wasabia japonica plant. Carbohydrates normally contain starches because “starch is the main energy source harvested as an agricultural yield”, and “Starch is the major carbohydrate reserved in plant tubers and seed endosperm. It is stored in plant cells”(a), and “It occurs as the reserve polysaccharide in the leaf, stem (pith), root (tuber), seed, fruit and pollen of many higher plants.”(b) We do not add anything.
Personally, I would have thought since we supply the Wasabia japonica rhizome powder, which is the major storage organ of the plant; the starch levels would be high anyway compared to (say) the leaf and stem. I would be amazed if starch is not present.
- We do not test for starch content or its levels, so have no idea what this “big variation of starch content in different batches of pure wasabi powder” is, or even if it is important.
From a processing point of view, I would have to surmise that variations could occur dependent upon whether you are dealing with “whole plant” product or “rhizome only” product. The leaf and stems are likely to have different levels of everything (I have only checked flavour), when compared to the rhizome.
From a growing point of view, we are dealing with a living growing plant. Irrespective of how you grow it there will always be variations between plants. Dependent upon a multitude of factors (most outside our control) some plants will grow better than others.
- I have no idea what “a normal range” for starch in Wasabia japonica is? We have never tested for it, and can find no information on this in the literature that is available to us.
Please realise that we are dealing with a plant. Variations will occur on a batch-to-batch basis, that is why we get each batch individually tested for the items shown on our batch Certificate Of Analysis (COA). We do not blend batches, but we do grade batches dependent upon the test results we obtain from the independent laboratories we use.
Note: The fake wasabi made up from coloured mustard and horseradish is quite often padded out using Tapioca starch just to reduce the cost. For that reason you need to ensure that the product label says “100% Wasabia japonica” powder and not just Wasabi or Wasabia japonica.