Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Fake Wasabi Hazardous!

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.

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