We have recently re-tested commercially available wasabi paste and found it to be high in sorbitol or humectant E420. Humectants like sorbitol are used in food products, like wasabi, to retain moisture.
Interestingly, most commercially available wasabi is not in fact real wasabi! It is a mixture of horseradish, starches and additives to give off that wasabi flavour that we all know and love. Real wasabi paste is made by grating the roots of the Wasabia japonica plant – this is more difficult and therefore expensive to grow but can be found in pastes that are made fresh and shipped frozen.
Unlike wasabi paste, wasabi powder does not need moisture retention from sorbitol, so is suitable for those following a low FODMAP diet. You can use wasabi powder to make your own wasabi paste at home - simply add enough water to your desired amount of wasabi paste and stir. Top it on your sushi or low FODMAP poke bowl and enjoy!
For many people with IBS following a low FODMAP diet, or a personalised low FODMAP diet, wasabi paste may not be something you habitually consume, or you have already learned that you can tolerate sorbitol. For those who are sensitive to sorbitol, or habitually consume wasabi and want to find out more about how your body reacts, we suggest testing your own tolerance.
We continue to retest food products and will always communicate our findings with our audience. Check out our app for the updated wasabi rating and serve size!