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"True authentic Japanese wasabi history and culture from local producers could be just around the corner"

Beotanics has been involved in the study of wasabi since 2015 and started the learning process of wasabi through visits to a famous Japanese village, with 400 years of history in the cultivation of wasabi. The village,is located in rural Shizouka, deep in the mountains, where it is recorded that the cultivation of this originally wild herb was started. Some of the original 400 year old infrastructure is still working today, having been maintained by generations of wasabi farmers. According to Pat FitzGerald, owner of Beotanics, the company has worked with one of these wasabi specialized farming families in Utogi: "Now, after these years of learning, some selections of wasabi varieties handed down through the generations of this farm have been selected to be compatible for the local conditions in Ireland. For the first time, true authentic Japanese wasabi history and culture from local producers could be just around the corner, literally!"

During 2019, Beotanics sponsored a farm visit from their Japanese wasabi master farmer and breeder to study their wasabi culture, FitzGerald explains. "One of the breeder's very own selections was released at IPM Essen 2024, winning the best balcony vegetable award. The variety named Wasabi Hana Utogi, selected for its prolific flowering, and sister variety wasabi Midori Utogi, now selected this year for its mild green paste, will be sold alongside its Japanese sister variety. In addition, the local European selection work in progress continues from thousands of seedlings, now growing from the shared seed conservation of this 11-generation wasabi farm."

Wasabi cultivation in Japan is carried out for more than just the famous sushi paste, FitzGerald states: "Wasabi petiole pickles, freshly grated wasabi paste, tempura with sweet potato and topped with a fresh wasabi leaf are all part of the cultivation outturns that are produced from this herb. Yes, we must consider wasabi as a herb as its attributes are more and more recognised for benefits in gut and cognitive health and Beotanics is actively funding its own research into food ingredient uses and impacts of wasabi on human dietary health."

To fully service their clients and evolve the reliable supply chain in this very new crop, Beotanics embarked on the long journey of selecting its own separate Mazuma varieties and Japanese milder sweet tasting Daruma varieties. Then the company grew all these selections in various environmental trials, FitzGerald explains. "We continue to adapt to different growing environments and optimised variety trials for different harvest applications. We can now offer fresh Rhizomes, leaf, leaf petiole and flowers according to their seasons. A collaborative project development for a targeted larger supply chain is Beotanics' preferred model for scaling this crop in Europe. The company offers a supply of plants and variety licensing for local wasabi production across Europe or beyond and can supply different maturity plant sizes to help establish local supply and avoid gaps in supply. With already established supply in Ireland, collaboration partners will not be short on the initial supply of fresh wasabi. This enables them to immediately supply European grown wasabi for local restaurant or artisanal food client development."

The future looks bright in the cool, damp cloudy Irish climate for efficient production of this plant in commercial scale production. The culinary and health benefits of this plant need further understanding in the western diet, FitzGerald feels: "Wasabi is not just for sushi, it has deep applications in the modern diet. At Beotanics, we'll be bringing more innovation within the wasabi category, we believe we have a mission matched with passion to bring wasabi to a wider audience in various forms to ensure fresh wasabi becomes commonly available to everyone. If you are interested in future supply chain development of this unique crop, we are happy to hear from you."

For more information:
Beotanics Ltd
Tel: +353 7728418
Mobile +353 87 2603473
Email: [email protected]