The Wasabi Smell has been analysed into its various components.
Wasabi (Wasabia japonica Matsum.) is a highly pungent condiment which is used as a spice and accompaniment to such foods as sushi and sashimi. It is also well known for the mind clearing effects that a small amount has on the nose and sinuses. 🙂
Some scientists have carried out an analysis on the wasabi smell to find out what exactly it comprises of. The only reason I can think of for doing this is because no one else had done it previously.
What they found was ten different compounds that they described as “odour-active compounds”. I assume this is scientific jargon for “you can smell them”?
These compounds were;
The compounds marked with * were identified for the first time in Wasabi during this research.
The researchers examined the wasabi aroma concentrate using aroma extract dilution (AED) analysis (Nakanishi et al., 2014). This appears to be the latest piece of wizardry analysis available for this type of work.
If you feel so inclined to read the original research the paper is referenced below. Enjoy!
Nakanishi A., Miyazawa N., Haraguchi K., Watanabe H., Kurobayashi Y. and Nammoku T. (2014), Determination of the absolute configuration of a novel odour-active lactone, cis-3-methyl-4-decanolide, in wasabi (Wasabia japonica Matsum.), Flavour Fragr. J, 29 pp. 220–227. DOI: 10.1002/ffj.3196
I suppose that now they know the details of what makes wasabi smell like wasabi there will be a number of new products on the market that will smell like wasabi. 🙂
The Namida 100% Pure Wasabi Powder when made into a paste has this Wasabi smell, and you do not need to analyse its smell to find out it is the real stuff. One taste is all it takes. You can buy some by clicking the link below.