2nd June 2021 Editorial by: newprotein staff writer
Why Hemp Heart Proteins Are Superfoods for Alt Protein Products
A recent research report into plant-based foods that are intended for vegetarian and vegan diets showed a quarter of products tested had alarmingly low protein levels. But, Victory Hemp Foods says that they have the ideal solution for new product development teams, that can enable them to improve protein and omega-3 fat content, and still maintain their clean label approach.
In 2014, when U.S. farming restrictions on hemp changed, Victory Hemp Foods began developing hemp seed-based proteins that can help boost protein levels, increase amino acid ratios and improve textural qualities.
In this interview with Ben Raymond, Director of Research & Development at Victory Hemp Foods, we find out which properties make their hemp seed ingredients so useful in plant-based food development.
Q. Tell us about your hemp-based product range
Victory Hemp Foods produces food ingredients using hemp seeds. We make the traditional hemp seed products: cold pressed hemp seed oil, hemp seed protein (50% protein), roasted hemp seeds, and shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts). But more importantly, we have developed a flagship product line which includes our proprietary V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein and V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil. These market-changing ingredients are nutritious, functional, bland, and clean label options for food, beverage and personal care formulators. The first generation of hemp seed protein and oil presents some serious challenges, namely, they don’t taste all that great and they have some functionality challenges. Our newest ingredients, V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein and V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil, solve for these problems and are light years ahead of the first generation ingredients. Their light color and neutral flavor allow formulators to use hemp in a wide variety of applications for the first time.
Q. There have been some concerns that alt meat analogues have low protein levels – how can V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein help address this issue?
V-70™ is >70% protein on an 'as is' basis. This means it only requires about 28 grams of V-70™ per serving to have the same protein content as 80/20 ground beef. That leaves about 70% of the formulation for other ingredients like fat and water when making a plant based meat patty. We recently tested a plant based burger application in our lab using V-70™, and ended up with too much protein compared to animal protein! We’re also working on other “V-line” options with different protein content and functionality to hit even broader applications.
Q. What about the water-binding and emulsification properties of V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein
V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein shows good water holding and oil holding capacity. It functions well as an emulsifier in applications like meat analogues and really helps maintain a nice firm, juicy bite.
Q. I understand the amino acid profile of V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein is superior to say soy or chickpea protein – what else should I know about its nutritional characteristics?
It’s got a good amino acid profile AND it’s easy to digest. Many plant proteins have good or great amino acid compositions, but it doesn't matter what the amino acid composition is if you can’t absorb them efficiently. Our protein is well tolerated and easy to digest, in fact V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein actually scores as well as any animal protein for digestibility (based on in-vitro PDCAAS analysis).
Q. You also offer Hemp Seed Oil, why is that a good choice for meat analogues and what is its fatty acid ratio? How does it compare to say Palm Oil?
The fatty acid profile is unique. It typically contains around 16-17% ALA and 1% SDA -- sometimes it's difficult to consume enough of these vegan omega-3s. Hemp seeds provide a near perfect ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 at 3:1, which makes it easier to consume nutritionally appropriate amounts of both of these essential omega fatty acids. It has naturally occurring sitosterols and tocopherols and a host of other minor phytonutrients. It’s not as stable as palm oil but it’s nutritionally superior and sustainable in a different league entirely. Hemp grows well in un-irrigated areas and even helps trap CO2 deep in the soil with its deep reaching roots.
Q. Is Hemp Protein classed as FDA, GRAS?
Q. Are there already food products on the market in the USA which contain Hemp Protein?
A whole bunch and more on the way. From dry mix protein blends, nutrition bars and baked items, and even frozen dessert and sauces. We expect it’s only a (hopefully short) matter of time before consumers can purchase plant-based meat analogues made with hemp seed protein.
Q. What’s the EU position – is it a Novel Food?
We haven't done a lot of business in Europe, yet. But we plan to! Hemp seed foods are allowed today and are not considered novel, EFSA has taken the stance that hemp seed foods have a history of consumption before 1997. EU member states do have differing regulations around the allowable THC/CBD residuals allowed in hemp seeds, oils, and proteins. We are hoping for harmonization soon to help expand this market.
Q. Should manufacturers be concerned about the presence of THC?
No. Hemp seeds don’t produce cannabinoids, THC or otherwise. There is always a small chance of contamination from the inflorescence around the seeds, but even then the grain varieties are poor cannabinoid producers. We test our raw materials for CBD and THC and test our finished goods, too. We guarantee oils are <10ppm THC and the proteins are <4ppm THC.
Q. Can you give an example of where hemp protein and hemp seed oil have been incorporated into a product and provided a unique solution?
There’s a great product available today I’ll point to. It’s a plant-based gelato with hemp seed protein and oil. Hemp seed oil helps with the flavor release and texture in a way that other oils like coconut can’t; based on the highly unsaturated nature of hemp seed oil. Our V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil goes a step further and not only has this functionality around texture but also has a low impact on flavor - no one likes grassy notes in their dessert!
To get specifications for all Victory Hemp ingredients - everything you need to know about North American Grown, non-GMO Hemp Seed Plant-Based Protein, Oil & Seed ingredients, visit www.victoryhempfoods.com or contact Victory Hemp Foods directly using the request information button below.
Date Published: 2nd June 2021
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