Ahead of its appearance at Gulfood, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) hosted a seminar in Dubai to promote traditional Japanese ingredients and explore trade prospects with guests from the food and hospitality industry.
The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Hisashi Michigami, the Consul General of Japan in Dubai and speakers included Junji Nakao, director JETRO Dubai and Masami Ando, managing director JETRO Dubai and MENA.
Nakao explained that Japanese cuisine is comprised of the freshest ingredients sourced from Japan’s volcanic ecosystem and highlighted the food products available for export to the UAE.
He said: “The Middle East food industry is witnessing a growing import of Japanese food products. Last year exports to the UAE in Japanese beverages and foodstuff were over US$51 million.
“The popularity of Japanese cuisine and products is evident in the increasing number of Japanese restaurants in the region; there are 200 in the UAE alone. This is not counting the growing number of other restaurants and cuisines that are using Japanese ingredients in their dishes.”
There were live cooking demonstrations and an in-depth look at the health benefits of Japanese cuisine by cook, food-writer and author Fiona Uyema, while specialty beef expert Tetushisa Hagiwara presented the history of genuine Wagyu beef.
Awareness of Japan’s high quality and strict safety standards, understanding the nutritional benefits of the Japanese diet and distinguishing between the true flavours of Japanese ingredients were the main topics of the event.
Ando commented: “I have personally experienced international dishes that used Japanese ingredients to enhance the flavours of their sauces.
“This is one of the reasons for this seminar; it is the perfect event to further expand the market’s knowledge about Japanese food and healthy diet.
“It also provides opportunities to bolster trade prospects. Our successful participation at Gulfood over the past three years has supported our efforts and we are delighted to be participating again in this year’s edition.”
Over 40 Japanese food companies will be showcasing their products at Gulfood 2017.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see and sample a variety of healthy Japanese food, including beverages, confectionary, vegetables, seafood, Wagyu beef and condiments.