Hydrolysed vegetable proteins – Food safety & quality

Imagesfood.com, Sept. 23, 2011

The consumption of various food additives has been growing steadily around the world since the mid-20th century… Seasonings containing hydrolysed vegetable proteins (HVP) hold a very important place among widely used food additives.

Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein-HVP (sometimes referred to as Hydrolysed Plant Protein) is widely used in the food industry as a savoury flavouring agent to bring out the natural flavours in food. A chemical process called acid hydrolysis breaks down protein into amino acids from various food sources…Many foods contain HVP, including processed foods such as bouillon, soup, sauce mixes, gravy, crackers, chips, instant soups, processed meat and frankfurters. HVP is also produced via enzymatic hydrolysis.

The acid hydrolysis technology can result in the production of the so-called toxic glycerol chlorohydrins (MCPD and DCP). 3-MCPD may be formed as a result of a reaction between a source of chlorine (e.g., Chlorinated water or salt) in the food or a food contact material and a lipid source. This reaction is encouraged during the heat processing of foods. Chloropropanol is formed during those harsh hydrolysis conditions: fats present in the protein source do also hydrolyse in three fatty acid chains and glycerol.

3-MCPD has been shown to be a carcinogen in laboratory animal studies and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) originally classified 3-MCPD as a genotoxic carcinogen with the recommendation that its presence in foodstuffs should be reduced to an undetectable level.

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