Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fake Wasabi....what next?

GMO fruits, non-organic fruits and food. Now we have fake wasabi. Ever wondered what next eh? I like Japanese food and I always need to have wasabi with my food. Goodness gracious, why can't restaurants use natural stuff? Should we put the blame on the people who invented this fake stuff or the people who wants to buy them? Geez......!
Fake Wasabi-90% composed of chemicals which may endanger your health. Reporting from Research Center/Taipei, Taiwan The wasabi we find these days are found to contain many unknown ingredients. Due to the low supply and high cost of the real wasabi, even wasabi found in 5-star hotels are found to be questionable. The fake wasabi contains high levels of metals. Though they are within safe levels of consumption, doctors have advised against consuming too much of them. As we were passing through a fish market, we came upon a very strong scent. We found a lady preparing the wasabi mixture for the raw fish. She told us that she uses "special wasabi powder" which costs only $50/bag and they can make up to several hundred bags of wasabi paste. We even found many restaurants using this special wasabi powder to make the wasabi paste. Why is the scent so strong and what does it really contain? We continued our investigations. The conclusion we came to was the fact that there were special ingredients placed in these "special wasabi powder" even though the label simply indicates "wasabi and permitted flavoring and coloring." Experts indicate that the type of wasabi found in Taiwancannot be freeze-dried and made into powder, so it's very likely that these "special wasabi powder" have been made artificially. A chinese chemist Wu Jia Cheng says "the label only says what its basic ingredients are but will not say what it artificially contains." Our investigative reporters took the "special wasabi powder" to the lab for testings. Lab results show the powder contains copper, lead and chromium. So how are we going to differentiate the real from the fake wasabi? A little iodine tincture will do the trick. We found a biochemist who says that "After mixing the wasabi powder to make the paste, simply place a drop of iodine tincture onto the paste and wait 1-2 mins. If you see the brown iodine tincture changing its color into a dark blue color, it indicates the presence of starch within the paste. And within this mixture is the addition of the ingredient "propenyl mustard oil" to make the fake wasabi." Fake wasabi gives a bright green appearance and a very strong pungent smell that will dissipate within 1/2 hr. Real wasabi is of a much lighter green. A toxicologist warned that long term consumption of this fake wasabi can lead to liver and kidney damages. We should avoid at all cost to protect our health. :o(

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