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What is hydrolyzed vegetable protein?

F.L. Thornton,CO
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) (sometimes referred to as Hydrolyzed Plant Protein) is widely used in the food industry as a savory flavoring agent to bring out the natural flavors in food. A chemical process called acid hydrolysis breaks down protein into amino acids from various food sources (corn, wheat, soybeans, cottonseed). Food scientists discovered that the protein in certain vegetables could be broken down and re-arranged to simulate the taste of meats. While there are numerous variations, generally, two basic types of HVP are used: light, which is used in poultry, pork, and vegetable products, and dark, which is used in broths, sauces, gravies, meats, stews. Many foods contain HVP, including processed foods such as bouillon, soup, sauce mixes, gravy, crackers, chips, instant soups, processed meat, frankfurters. If you are sensitive to monosodiumglutamate (MSG), it is important to note that some companies add MSG to Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein products.
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