Technology for Dried Wasabi Powder
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: John Riggs
Posted on: May 22, 2005

Please advise if you can assist in location of technology to manufacture dried wasabi powder. This is for a impoverished community based organization opperation, practically registered as a company least the last few restrictions are completed, which is with intent to grow by contract growing agreement this product and finally to manufacture the dried product to supply markets. Any assistance to locate CIDA, JICA, DANIDA, NORAD, USAID, or similar or buyers and or supplier of mentorship and or technology will be valued particulary if it is indeed under an international aid and business development program. Since we now have access to approximately 36 hectares and it consists of "vlei", or wetlands as it is known better in English, and dunes on sandy Cape Flats adjacent, practically, to Cape Town International Airport.

We do not have specific information on the processing of wasabi roots to produce dried powder. Although the harvesting, drying and grinding processes may be similar to those of other root herbs, the constituents responsible for wasabi’s unique flavour are unstable and may require specialized handling or processing to prevent loss. In additiona, it is our understanding that much of the dried powder sold in North America is adulterated with horseradish (Amoracia rusticana), in part because of the volitality of the flavour compounds.

In the GrowerZone section of our website (http://www.richters.com/Growers), there is a short report on wasabi from the New Zealand Institute for Food & Crop Research. It has information on wasabi agronomy but the focus is on production of fresh roots for market. However there are several references at the end of the report that may have information on powder.

As for international funding agencies and possible mentoring contacts, we again have no specific information. We do know that CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) has a fund for international partnerships for development projects, including agricultural based ones. However, you need a Canadian partner company willing to invest money in the project: CIDA will only fund 25% of the project. For more information see: http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/cida_ind.nsf/vall/9520EE6CC3DF15A2852568EE00519182?OpenDocument

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