The biggest problem in the Fake Wasabi industry right now is:
The Wasabi industry has been deluding their customers for more than 60 years. They have achieved this by supplying coloured horseradish / mustard mixes and calling it Wasabi.
This is now coming back to bite the biggest suppliers of this “fake” wasabi as more and more Public Health Authorities around the world (especially in Europe) test products for ingredient claims.
They are doing this using sophisticated DNA test techniques, so you can’t bullshit the independent scientists.
And, the way I would fix this problem is:
I would require all suppliers of this “fake” wasabi to change their product description to “Coloured Horseradish/Mustard mix”, or “Wasabi Flavoured”, or Fake Wasabi. This would then be a true reflection of the contents of the product. At the moment these suppliers are hiding behind the deliberate confusion of interchanging “Japanese Horseradish” and “Wasabi” in the common vernacular.
More growers need to come forward to start growing Wasabia japonica, which has lots of medicinal benefits as well as giving your sinuses a workout. 🙂
Things used to be better when we could:
Actually trust our food manufacturers to tell us the truth of what is in their product.
Nowadays, with the collusion of the FDA and other Government bureaucracies, the Fake Wasabi Industry are able to use coding that does not mean anything to the consumer.
The manufacturers are more driven by bottom line, and quarterly results than they are by the reason they are in the food industry. That is to supply food that is nutritious and adds to the well-being of the consumer.
Having accountants and lawyers run these organizations instead of Food Technologists and Engineers is a major cock-up. Shareholders of these organizations are taking no responsibility for what they are allowing these people to do in their name.
The best improvement we could possibly make as an industry would be to do this:
Require that Fake Wasabi Industry manufacturers put on ingredient panels the common names of all the ingredients they use in that particular product.
Specify the percentage ratios of these ingredients. That way at least the consumer can determine if they want to purchase and use that product.
At the moment buying food is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. There is no guarantee that you won’t die from consuming it!