Functional properties of wasabi and horseradish

Biofactors. 2000;13(1-4):265-9. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520130140.


Wasabi (Wasabi japonica) and horseradish (Cholearia arnoracia) are used as spices of daily foodstuffs. Allylisothiocyanate (AIT) is a potent component in both plants and occurs by grating them. It is well known that AIT shows inhibitory effect on the growth of food poisoning bacteria and fungi. In this work, several functional properties of roots and leaves from wasabi and horseradish were examined in vitro. Each sample showed peroxidase activity. They also exhibited antioxidative and superoxide scavenging potency. Antimutagenic activity was observed toward 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline [MeIQx], a well-known mutagen/carcinogen in broiled fish and meat. They also decreased His+ revertant colonies of 3-chloro-4-dichloromethyl-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone (MX) in the Ames test, a strong mutagen and carcinogen in chlorine disinfected tap water. Isolation of antimutagenic components in wasabi root was done. Three components including (-)-(R)-7-methylsulfinylheptyl isothiocyanate were identified. These data show that wasabi and horseradish might be potent functional foods for keeping human health.

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Brassicaceae / chemistry*
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Horseradish Peroxidase / analysis
  • Japan
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Superoxides / chemistry


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides
  • Horseradish Peroxidase