It sounds like the world’s worst idea. Take perfectly good gold and infuse peanuts with it. Then sell those peanuts for people to eat. A Jeju Island-based company is doing just that and is turning legumes into cold, hard won, according to the Jeju Weekly.
“At first, people thought I was crazy,” Golden Woodo CEO Kang Chang Yoon told the publication.
Three years ago, Kang was inspired by a newspaper article he read about gold-infused rice. Some alternative health practitioners claim that gold particles provide anti-aging properties and improve intelligence. In recent years other companies have been producing a number of gold-infused food products such as dried persimmons and makgeolli rice wine.
So Kang did his research and decided to bust a nut and put gold in it.
“You could do mandarins and tangerines but peanuts are easy to preserve, transfer, and you could actually make money from it,” Kang told the Jeju Weekly.
The farming practice is similar to that of any crop. Kang said they plant regular peanut seeds in May to be harvested in November, but the one difference is the plants are fed a gold-water solution. Produced by SHINEMETAL, a nano technology company, which has been contracted to manufacture the solution, the gold water is administered three times.
SHINEMETAL President Dr. Yoon Eui-Sik said, through their patented technology they are able to extract nano particles (particles sized between 100 and 1 nanometers) from a gold bar which are then mixed with a water solvent that can “be absorbed into the plant through the root.”
Demand for the peanuts — which cost about $10.50 for six ounces — has been high, widely outstripping supply. The nuts are currently only being sold at Hyundai Department stores with some nuts exported to Japan. Samples sent to China prompted a giant order which Kang said his company could not fill.
Only one year into production and Golden Woodo has had to alter its direction. To keep up with the demand, instead of selling deshelled peanuts Kang intends to sell chocolate cooked with them. To help facilitate this and to improve the company’s brand awareness and image, Kang is hoping to build a golden peanut chocolate factory on Udo. The all-glass building, doubling as a tourist attraction, will allow people traveling to the islet to watch the cooking process.