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Mugunghwa Food Research Institute is the company that processes morning glory. AVING News interviewed Kim Mi-jeong, the CEO of Mugunghwa Food Research Institute, which participated in the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) Seoul Food Startup Center.
Please introduce your company briefly.
Morning glory is a flower with a long history of close feelings, from the Three States Period to the Joseon Dynasty. It was also written in the history books as the edible ingredients in forms of tea and flower pancake, and all of its parts from the flower to roots were used for medicine as a medicinal ingredient. Since I have never thought of eating morning glory, many questions about whether I can really eat morning glory and how it tastes like came to my mind.
So I got morning glory myself and tested and tried it for tasting. It tasted sweet and the color was very pretty. The more I studied, the more I learned that morning glory was a really good edible ingredient and a plant of high historical value. I thought bad for this ingredient not being used as food. So, I started with the mind to process morning glory and notify to as many people as possible.
Mugunghwa Food Research Institute continues to research and endeavor today so that we can enjoy the beauty and hidden values of morning glory, the national flower, in our daily lives.
Please describe the products.
Mugunghwa Food Research Institutes’s blend tea “Mugunghwada_Korea’s Soft Light” used the white sandalwood, pink sandalwood, and blue sandalwood morning glories by types, and used them as ingredients.
Morning glory has a subtle sweet taste and beautiful color, but its properties weaken when dried and processed. To reproduce the scent of morning glory, we used domestic fruits and herbs to improve the taste, color and taste. It is also caffeine-free and made into tea bags for convenience.
Most leaf teas (tea made from leaves) contain a small amount of caffeine. So, I don’t think people who are caffeine-intolerant can enjoy drinking it comfortably. However, the morning glory tea is made without caffeine, artificial additives or coloring, or preservatives. So, we focus on making pure Korean food that anyone can drink safely and healthily. The other is that all the stamen are removed by hands to prevent allergies. Because it is a flower tea that may cause flower allergy, you should remove the stamen. You should do this to make it into a beverage that everyone can enjoy.
How can we enjoy Mugunghwada?
If you brew the tea for three to five minutes in hot water over 90 degrees, you can feel the deep and subtle flavor of Mugunghwada. Or, if you put the Mugunghwada tea bag in 500ml of mineral water and let it brew for more than an hour, you can enjoy clean and pure taste. If you brew the Mugunghwada tea bag in cider or carbonated water for more than an hour, you will get a different Mugunghwada.
What are your plans for the future?
The goal of the Mugunghwa Food Research Institute is to make Mugunghwa a pure Korean food that anyone can safely enjoy. The first step was the flower tea Mugunghwada. So, I’m thinking about how to make ade, vin chaud, sangria, and iced tea that can be made by using Mugunghwada. Furthermore, we plan to release more types of Mugunghwa’s food products beyond tea with various food products such as Mugunghwa chocolate balls and Mugunghwa traditional liquor.
Mugunghwa Choco Protein Ball soon to be released is a snack that anyone can easily enjoy with tea. It does not contain carbohydrates, and contains maltitol, a sugar substitute, so you can enjoy it healthily, and you can enjoy a crispy texture with the whey protein balls.
What are your export plans?
Since agricultural products in Korea are attracting global attention, the belief that food good for health is beneficial for immunity along with Korean wave is spreading. We are planning to expand the domestic tea market with Korea’s only morning glory tea and beverages made with Korea’s flower morning glory, and spread this trend worldwide. Not only this, we are going to research the features of morning glory and develop and launch a variety of health-oriented premium products.
Any last words you would like to say?
It is a pity that there are many unfavorable perceptions about the national flower of Korea, morning glory. I hope that many people can get closer to morning glory in their lives. Mugunghwa Food Research Institute starts from re-implementing and creating the morning glory food culture that our ancestors have struggled to protect. We will study morning glory and add it to our daily life until the day when the Garden of Samchully reopens.
Seoul Food Startup Center, which participated in MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) is providing support to the agri-food-related companies come up with innovative ideas and new products. It is supporting food processing technology, licensing, patents, design, and promotional marketing so that agricultural products can be reborn as high-value products. Various startup support services such as ▴Startup training ▴Mentoring ▴Consulting ▴Investment connection are prepared.
The official of the center said,”We are fostering start-up agri-food companies to help develop new competitive products. This is going to lead to the exports of Korea’s excellent agri-food and create more jobs, becoming a new growth engine for Seoul.”
The global news network AVING News has begun holding the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) to help small and medium-sized companies enter the market and attract investment 365 days a year. AVING News has been running online exhibitions since 2005 and had 975 online exhibitions so far. Its YouTube online exhibition has placed itself as Korea’s largest online exhibition hall that opens with 19,000 videos (booths) with more than 800,000 visits per month which means more than 10 million visits per year.
The MIK HOT SPOT online exhibition is scheduled to be held regularly according to the field, target market, and participating institutions, and it will be presented as a new type of online business by transforming the know-hows and values of the participating companies according to the trend. Companies that want to participate can apply and apply through the marketing support projects from supporting institutions in the local governments. Refer to the institutions for more information.