Humans have been growing and using hemp for food, fiber and other uses since at least 8,000 BC. Because hemp seeds and the oil and protein that come from expeller processing, have been green and flavorful, hemp seed oil and protein have been used as an ingredient in a relatively narrow range of food products.
We’re changing that, though: While there are a range of food products which benefit from hemp proteins and oils derived from the whole hemp seed, when we make hemp protein and oil via our proprietary process using only the hemp seed heart, the result is a much milder, almost bland and nearly colorless ingredient that incorporates well into a wide range of foods. Victory Hemp Foods newest ingredients come from healthy hemp hearts—which are the hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts) — instead of the whole hemp seed, to make our V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein and V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil.
As a Food Formulator, You'll Want to be Aware of the Many Health Benefits of Hemp Hearts as a Food Ingredient.
What are Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts are simply hemp seeds with their outer shell removed. Hemp seeds have a hard exterior shell, and are in the ballpark of sunflower seeds in terms of texture—crunchy outside, soft, nutty inside (although hemp shells have a nicer crunch in my (of course unbiased (taste for yourself!)) opinion. Hemp hearts are small, creamy colored seeds with a soft, smooth texture, and a mild, nutty aroma and flavor that is more in the neighborhood of hulled (shell removed) pine nuts and sesame seeds.
Example of Healthy Hemp Hearts
How are Hemp Hearts Used?
Hemp hearts can be consumed as-is, straight from the bag. Many people just sprinkle them on their salad, yogurt or oatmeal to boost the protein and healthy fats. In the kitchen, or in food product development, hemp hearts increasingly are used to improve the nutrition profile of food products—like breads, snack bars, cookies, and other baked goods, as well as granolas and butters and other spreads (think: pesto, hummus, etc.).
Victory Hemp Foods V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein is made with a low oil content. The near-white colored, neutrally flavored protein avoids challenges from flavor, color or rancidity as a result, an additional advantage in using these revolutionary ingredients in your next food product. One challenge with using traditional hemp hearts in shelf stable processed foods is that with their high Omega-3 oil content, if exposed to light, heat or oxygen, over time they will go rancid. That’s why foods derived from traditional hemp ingredients require refrigeration after opening.
The other product resulting from this proprietary process is V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil, a light colored, neutrally flavored oil high in Omega-3 fatty acids, with a smoke point just below that of olive oil.
What are the Health Benefits of Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, are good for your heart and skin, and deliver both soluble and insoluble fiber, which support digestion. Also, one of the healthy polyunsaturated fats in hemp hearts (called gamma-linolenic acid or GLA) may help manage PMS and menopause symptoms.
From a nutrition standpoint, hemp hearts are chock full of healthy fats—including the uber-healthy Omega-3 fats. Nutritionists praise Omega-3 fats for their anti-inflammatory powers, and hemp hearts are one of the few plant-based foods that contain Omega-3s. They also deliver ample protein, and are one of the few plant-based foods considered a complete protein. Hemp hearts are essentially devoid of (the less healthy) saturated fats, are low in carbohydrates, and offer healthy doses of important micronutrients like iron, and magnesium, which are hard to get enough of for many people, particularly vegetarians. Lastly, hemp hearts are unique in that they’re free from the top 8 major allergens (particularly compared to other plant-based proteins from nuts and soy).
Here’s what’s in a 3 Tablespoon serving (or 30 grams, which is about 1 ounce) of hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts):
Compared to other seeds like chia and flax, hemp hearts have more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
Overall, as consumer interest continues to grow in plant-based eating and protein-rich ingredients and foods, hemp hearts, and protein and oil from hemp hearts will likely become more and more popular for use at home and as ingredients in a broad range of plant-based foods. If your goal is to produce a protein-focused, plant-based food product, hemp hearts are a healthy choice, and also are easy to formulate with.
Victory Hemp Food's revolutionary V-70™ HEMP HEART protein powder and V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil made from hemp hearts using a proprietary process solves many of the challenges faced by food formulators today when they’re trying to bring new plant-based foods to market.
Interested in learning more about our revolutionary Hemp Hearts-based ingredients? Check out this article on the health benefits:
The Health Benefits of Hemp - 8 Reasons Hemp Seed-Based Ingredients Should be a Part of Your Ingredient Deck
Or schedule a call now to talk with us about your next project!