Food scientists from South Korea are working hard to turn the country’s national dish kimchi, a potent blend of cabbage or other vegetables bathed in garlic, ginger and chilli, into an export-friendly phenomenon.

In as much as a global market already exists for the dish, it is cornered by Japan, which produces 70% of the kimchi sold outside South Korea. South Korea is hoping to overtake its historical archrival in terms of palatable kimchi production, however, claiming that the Japanese version of the dish is too bland in taste.

Doosan, the largest domestic producer of kimchi, has employed microbiologist Kim Sun Young to make a palatable version for sale in the US. Kim is convinced of the potential for South Korea’s kimchi’s global appeal, pointing out that numerous health benefits accompany the dish, including the possibility that it helps prevent cancer and high cholesterol while promoting healthier skin.

Another South Korean food company, Cheil Jedang Corp, has also employed the know-how of kimchi queen Kim Man Jo and her team of microbiologists.