Japan's 'national fungus’, will step into the spotlight in 2022 bringing delicious taste to a host of food and drink. The versatile ingredient has been favoured by global chefs for years; now it’s playing a starring role, appearing in plant-based meats and historic Japanese whisky. Koji brings forth the 'craveable' fifth taste, umami, and will pop up in new places in 2022.
“Koji is a remarkable ingredient with wide-ranging applications. The rice-based mould is able to impart huge umami boosts, tenderise or even act as a salt replacer, and we’re really starting to see it emerge across food and drink, from high-end innovations through to value-based products," said Tom Gatehouse, Food & Drink Strategist at WGSN. "It’s a developer’s dream and, with further culinary uses still being discovered, its influence will only increase in the years to come.”