①THE KONJAC POWDER AND CALCIUM HYDROXIDE ARE ADDED TO COLD WATER, THEN MIXED THOROUGHLY.
The ingredients are thoroughly stirred together to reach an even blend. If lumps of powder or air are mixed in, the product is no good, so this process is a major point in attaining top quality, and must be done with great care.
②THE MIXED INGREDIENTS ARE POURED QUICKLY INTO A MOLD.
This process is done carefully, one by one, to make sure no air or bubbles get in. Konjac in liquid form will immediately harden, so if poured too slowly it will not take form correctly. If such a failure occurs, the defective product is added to a traditional Japanese "oden" delicacy, for everyone to eat (just kidding...)
③MOLDED KONJAC IS LINED UP ON LARGE RACKS AND LEFT TO SOLIDIFY.
At this point, the sponges are still in a jellylike form. By leaving them on racks, they will slowly solidify into a hardened texture. Allowing the solidification process to occur slowly makes the konjac full-bodied and tender. This step is important for achieving the sponge-like texture.
④THEY ARE LEFT TO SIMMER ON THE RACKS FOR SEVERAL HOURS UNTIL FULLY HARDENED.
This phrase is a bit technical, but the "alkali heat solidification" process is performed which makes the konjac edible. Heat travels to the inside of the konjac, and the process continues until it is completely hardened.
⑤THE KONJAC USED FOR KONJAC PUFFS IS COMPLETE.
The konjac is finished, but still very hot, so it is placed in a tank of water to slowly cool it down to the core. On a side note, the freshly made konjac does not taste good when still hot. Once it has cooled down for a time, it will taste better.
⑥THEY ARE THEN FREEZE DRIED, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE CAN'T SHOW YOU THIS PROCESS.
The mechanism used in this process is as follows:
(1) By freezing the product, water content is separated from the solid matter (konjac fibers), and the water content is then dispersed as ice.
(2) By thawing the product, the icy portion becomes porous.
(3) Only the original flexible properties of the konjac fibers remain, forming a sponge.
The product is then repeatedly frozen and thawed in a special freezer, until it is frozen evenly to the core.
⑦THE THAWED SPONGES ARE PLACED IN A DRYING ROOM.
Once the sponges have thawed, they are washed and sterilized in hot water, the water is removed, and they are moved to a drying room. The drying process is performed slowly so that the entire product dries evenly, and to keep a consistent shape.
⑧THE SPONGES ARE PACKAGED, AND THE PROCESS IS COMPLETE.
SATURATE IN HOT WATER FOR A SOFT SPONGE.
When you first hold it, it will look and feel like a brittle pumice stone. However, when saturated in hot water of about 40ºC in the bath or shower, and gently squeezed, it will grow about 50% larger into a soft sponge. This product is very useful for skincare needs, and will have your skin feeling soft and smooth in no time!