Garnish Section Wakame. Instant miso soup can be easily prepared by simply adding hot water. Marukome stocks ingredients from around the world with a safe and secure quality control system. Wakame undergoes a multiple sorting process, and is dried and processed in a carefully controlled environment.

From Harvesting to Salting

From Harvesting to Salting

The salt-preserved wakame is carefully sorted and shipped.

Freshly harvested wakame is delivered to our coastal cultivation farms from winter and spring. On some days, 100 tons is delivered.

Wakame, fresh from the ocean, is immediately sent to the Washing and Sorting Process. It is then salted in a fresh and clean state.

The salted wakame is allowed to rest for a while, after which it is carefully sorted. Workers check for foreign matter while packaging it.

Highlights. After adjusting the salt content, the wakame is carefully sorted, and foreign matter is removed. Adjustment of Salt Content. Salted and adjusted so that the wakame retains a salt content of approx. 40%. Visual Sorting. Workers remove the hard stem of the wakame, select only the nice leafy section, and pack the salted wakame.

Washing to Adjustment of Salt Content

Washing to Adjustment of Salt Content

Workers remove the delivered salted wakame one bag at a time, and place it on the processing line while visually inspecting it.

The salted wakame delivered to the factory is first visually inspected for foreign matter. Workers loosen the wakame by hand while placing it on the processing line.

To ensure the safety and trustworthiness of the products we provide to our customers, only products, which have passed strict inspections from the delivery stage on, are sent to the next process.

Our workers perform each step with seriousness and strict attention, and constantly seek to achieve even higher quality.

We also participate in eco-friendly initiatives, such as reusing wakame rejected in the sorting processes for animal feed.

Washing to Adjustment of Salt Content

The wakame is sent down the processing line and is then placed into a large rotating sieve where foreign matter is removed. It is then washed several times.

There can be many different kinds of foreign matter, both small and large, attached to marine products farmed in the natural environment.

The wakame is rotated in a large sieve for a long time. During that time, it loosens, and small foreign matter such as sand, salt, small fish, and shrimp are removed.

After the sifting process, the wakame is thoroughly washed with running water. During the three or four washing sessions, foreign matter that sinks or floats is removed.

Highlights. Filtered seawater is used, and only clean wakame is dried. After rotating the wakame in a large sieve for a long time to sift out foreign objects such as sand, it is then placed in the washing tank. Light contaminants that float and heavy contaminants that sink are removed. The wakame is also washed in running water before and after the cutting process where it is cut into the proper size. Foreign matter that is heavier than the wakame is removed. The wakame is repeatedly washed three or four times and loosened before the salt adjustment and drying process.

Drying to Mechanical Sorting

Drying to Mechanical Sorting

The dried wakame is processed with various sorter equipment, such as an air current sorter and a color sorter. All foreign matter is carefully removed.

The wakame is dried until the water content is between 6% and 8%. After shrinking to a size of several millimeters, it is sent to the air current separator process.

The wakame is carefully sorted with a machine that removes heavy foreign matters and a machine that removes light foreign matter.

The wakame passes through various processes including a magnet to remove metal objects, and two sieves with different sized holes. It passes a second time through the air current sorter, and finally through the color sorter to remove foreign matter according to difference in color density.

We perform multiple checks in order to maintain a higher quality. We aim to perform stricter inspections, and pursue safety and security.

Highlights. The wakame passes through various processes to remove foreign matter including air current sorting, color sorting, and sieves. Air Current Sorter. Foreign matter is removed using forced air. The first stage of the two-stage sorter removes light foreign matter such as sand, and the second stage removes heavy foreign matter. Color Sorter. This sorter removes seaweed having a different color from wakame, wakame with a white complexion has a very salty section, and wakame that is still black hasn’t been sufficiently dried, etc. Sieve. A vibrating sieve sifts out foreign matter. Wakame pieces that are too small or too big are removed, and only standard sized wakame is left on the processing line.

Visual Sorting

Visual Sorting

After sorting using various equipment, visual sorting is carried out three times.

Experienced inspectors check every single piece of dried wakame that passes by an approx. 50 cm wide belt conveyor. Our inspectors visually sort about 3 tons of wakame a day.

The professional inspectors remove any wakame of irregular size or poor color, and also remove any fine foreign matter.

The inspected wakame is placed in bags, and sent to the second visual sorting session.

A total of three visual sorting sessions are held, during which samples are inspected to confirm that the wakame quality is acceptable.

Highlights. Each piece of wakame is carefully checked. After the three separate visual sorting sessions, the wakame is sent to the next process. After being sorted by various equipment, the wakame is moved to the visual inspection floor. Since there is a risk of contamination when moving the wakame, it passes through the color sorter again before starting visual sorting. The inspectors carefully check the dried wakame that passes along the belt conveyor. Wakame with a different color or size, and any fine foreign matter, are removed. To ensure stable quality, each inspector writes his name on each bag. More than half of our inspectors are veteran workers. Each piece of dried wakame goes through three visual sorting sessions. The visual inspections are performed in a two-shift rotation at more than 20 inspection tables.

Mechanical sorting

Mechanical sorting

After three visual sorting sessions, the wakame is inspected for foreign matter with inspection equipment.

After the wakame is sorted by human hands and eyes, it is passed through the sieve again.

It is then passed through a three-step inspection consisting of a magnetic inspector, an X-ray foreign matter detector, and a metal detector. After these inspections, the wakame is finally sent to the packaging process.

Measures to prevent foreign matter from contaminating the dried wakame are verified and applied from various angles and methods.

Highlights. Sorting sessions with magnetic, X-ray, and metal detectors are repeated as the final check.

Confirmation of the Wakame Manufacturing Process

Confirmation of the Wakame Manufacturing Process

Sentiments on Quality Control

Our job is to provide safe products. Quality Assurance Dept. Osamu Kinoshita

We want our customers to continue loving the Marukome Brand. We strive every day to constantly provide products that are safe and trustworthy.

We hope that our customers recognize that, behind the scenes, many people are involved even in our mass-produced products.