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Background

Trying to replicate wasabi almonds using Penzeys wasabi powder. Cannot retain the kick from the wasabi no matter what. Tried half a dozen things. Even with zero heat exposure wasabi loses its bite after drying.

Found this answer and got excited, but apparently it's wrong. Wasabi is not activated by oil, at least not the stuff I have. To clarify, I have explored all answers to that question, none of them solve my problem, and I am asking a different question in an attempt to understand how the process works.

Question

What do the commercial guys do to lock in the kick?

What I found so far

I can't find anything about the manufacturing process online. Closest I found was one stray comment on a wasabi pea recipe mentioning that the wasabi itself is not exposed to heat, but obviously that alone isn't enough.

  • I think the real answer is in the question you linked, but not the accepted one: it's probably not real wasabi. – Luciano Dec 21 '17 at 10:28
  • probably this one has a better answer as to what it is: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/50329/… – Luciano Dec 21 '17 at 10:29
  • @Luciano I followed the process suggested here meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/271633/…. I linked the question that was similar and explained a) why it does not answer my question and b) that my question is different (I asked specifically about the commercial process). I respectfully request that you withdraw the duplicate flag. – dlsso Dec 21 '17 at 18:46
  • @Luciano The mix I am using is mostly horseradish as you can see from my link, so the answer is not as simple as "use horseradish." I have already explored all suggestions on stack exchange, as my question implies. – dlsso Dec 21 '17 at 18:54
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I've used wasabi powder before and it always gets activated with water, not oil.

Searching about the industrial process, the closest I got was a comment in this cooking blog (emphasis mine):

In the commercial world they add rice flour into the mix to make it all stick together, but before that they cook the peas and dry roast them or just dehydrate them. Once that is done then they use a "coating" machine which looks a bit like a cement mixer and slowly rotate the machine which contains the rice flour/wasabi mix.

So I think the key is: roast the nuts, use oil or arabic gum to make the surface of the nut sticky, cool it down to below 32ºC then add the wasabi powder mix. As long as it stays dry the wasabi powder won't get activated, which will happen only when you put them in your mouth.

I suppose the rice flour is to thin out the mix a bit, since pure wasabi powder might be too strong, to help coat the nuts uniformly and to keep moisture away which would kill the wasabi flavor.

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