More on hydrolyzed protein, and on the need to read—and understand—labels

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More from our friends at

"Hydrolyzed protein

Hydrolyzed Protein is protein that has been hydrolyzed or broken down into its component amino acids. While there are many means of achieving this, two of the most common are prolonged boiling in a strong acid (acid-HVP) or strong base or using an enzyme such as the pancreatic protease enzyme to stimulate the naturally-occurring hydrolytic process.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hydrolyzed protein is used to enhance flavor. The chemical breakdown of proteins may result in the formation of free glutamate that joins with free sodium to form monosodium glutamate (MSG). When added this way, the labels are not required to list MSG as an ingredient.[1] ."

Brilliant!! It's a way to sneak ingredients into your food, without the need to actually LIST them as something harmful. Wow, that is awe-inspiring. I mostly think there's nothing in the world of "industrialized" food that can shock me these days, but I'm almost speechless...almost. :)

I wanted to show you a few pictures of a soy sauce marketed in commercials with lovely families and whatnot. You recognize this? VH soy sauce...come on, we've all seen it, heck, I bought it (and have since drained and recycled it).

So yes, you've seen it, likely bought it, etc. It's been in my fridge a while, but this is a clear case of taking your new "investigative" eyes, and looking at labels of things you consistently buy and trust. Allow me...

Yum. Don't you just want to tuck into that? Water, salt, caramel (which is made by "heating a variety of sugars"), then hydrolyzed soy protein—that lovely chemical that then BINDS with the salt to produce MSG (GENIOUS!!!! SO SNEAKY!!!) then corn syrup and glucose-fructose (two more sugars!!!) and my personal favourite, sodium benzoate. Awesomeness.

Now, for just a minute, I want to go back to why I buy organic. There are SO many reasons, but one more to add to the list, is that producers of organic food are in a niche market. They are appealing to people who care about the ingredients in their food. People who have a little more money to spend (or simply choose to devote more of their resources to good nutrition), granted, but those that have decided that they don't want to pass over the ingredient list, ignoring the things they don't understand, so that they can obtain a cheap and yummy product.

Now let's move to the organic, gluten free version I started buying a while ago.

Now taste-wise, this is okay. It doesn't have that syropy sweetness we're all used to, but it's good. Please have a look at the ingredient list...

Four things. Water, organic soybeans, salt, organic alcohol (for the fermentation process I guess). I'm sure you also notice the warning about wheat among other things. They are required to label a product that is made in the same factory as allergens, even if they're not made on the same line. This product is certified gluten free.

This is a huge lesson to me to stop ignoring the items on the label, and to look back at the items I've bought and trusted all this time. Join might just be as surprised as I am! Email me if you find anything shocking. I'd love to hear from you! missdropsie at hotmail dot com.



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