Protein—as a nutrient and ingredient—is H.O.T. right now. Consumer interest in protein has seen steady growth over the last decade1, and shows no signs of slowing down. At the same time, interest in plant-based eating has also taken off—so much so that some are deeming it a megatrend.2
So, it’s really not surprising that plant-based proteins like pea, rice, hemp, and chia are much more ubiquitous in the marketplace these days. And soy protein is still going strong although it isn’t being included as often in new products in recent years. Consumers not only look to purchase these plant proteins as ingredients to use at home, but they also seek them out as healthy, functional, added ingredients in their favorite, everyday foods.
What is Hemp Protein?
It’s easier to understand what hemp protein is if you understand how it’s produced.
Producing Traditional Hemp Protein Starts with Producing Hemp Oil
Traditional Hemp Oil is produced by cold pressing whole hemp seeds with the hull in place. Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil fits anywhere you use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
As with most hemp protein products, Victory Hemp Foods traditional Hemp Protein products are derived from the solids left over from the cold pressed hemp seed oil, called press cake. Press cake contains the nutritious shell and heart. We grind and sift them to create 50, 33 or 23% protein powders.These products are used across bakery, pet / animal nutrition, brewing and other categories.
Victory Hemp Foods Revolutionary Hemp Protein
Victory Hemp has created a revolutionary range of proprietary products including a new hemp protein. Like with traditional hemp protein, the process starts with producing hemp seed-based oil, in this case V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil.
V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil is produced using a process that’s proprietary to Victory Hemp Foods. To make V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil, we remove the hemp seed shells to reveal the hemp hearts. By pressing hemp seed hearts without the shell, we achieve an oil that is light in color and neutral in flavor. This proprietary process opens up a plethora of options to food formulators and manufacturers wanting to move to a sustainable, minimally processed, U.S. grown and non-GMO oil ingredient.
The press cake left over from pressing V-ONE™ Hemp Heart Oil is further processed to produce our innovative V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein. Producing protein from shelled hemp seeds creates a protein product that is protein rich with extraordinary sensory and nutrition properties for a plant-based protein. From dairy and meat analogues to nutrition drink powders and protein bars, this plant-based protein ingredient is uniquely functional for food formulators looking to eliminate expensive masking ingredients and shorten ingredient decks.
Why are Hemp Protein Ingredients Important?
The average daily protein target for most adults is 50 grams. A 2½ tablespoon serving of Hemp Protein50 contains 15 grams—or about 30 percent of an adult’s daily goal. The same-sized serving of V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein contains 20 grams—or about 60 percent of an adult’s daily target. (That 50 grams, though, is based on the average recommendation to get 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day and some people need more protein.)
How is Hemp Protein Used?
Hemp protein is an “emerging force,” according to market research group SPINS.3 That’s in part because it offers strong nutritional benefits. Food producers are using hemp protein to develop a wide range of products—from nutritional supplements to beverages and functional foods to personal-care products.4
Consumers are using hemp protein to replace some of the flour in their baked goods (one particular well-respected brand suggests up to as much as 25 percent of flour can be swapped out for hemp protein powder) as well as to add a protein kick to smoothies.5
The range of plant-based hemp protein ingredients available from Victory Hemp Foods opens up a wider range of product potentials from healthy, sustainable hemp seed-based proteins. With the development of V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein, with its neutral flavor and color, food formulators and manufacturers now have a much wider range of uses for hemp protein. And, traditional hemp proteins could always be used for products where a nutty profile and green visual are acceptable or even desirable.
Victory Hemp Foods revolutionary new ingredients, including our protein dense powders create opportunities for food makers to create meat and dairy analogues, baked goods, craft and distilled beverages and more.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Protein?
Part of the allure of hemp protein is its nutrition profile and health benefits. On top of the benefits outlined below, a standard 1-ounce portion of hemp protein offers as much as 40 percent of the daily value for iron (a mineral that most people get from animal protein) and up to a quarter of the daily value for zinc (important for the immune system).
Hemp Protein is an excellent source of micronutrients.
A 1-ounce serving of hemp protein also delivers around 40 percent of the daily value for magnesium, a nutrient that most Americans fall short on.8 Research shows that hemp protein is easy to digest (it is comparable to casein, a protein in dairy products, and the protein in beans, but better digestibility than protein in wheat), which suggests the human body can use it more effectively.9
Learn more: A Closer Look At The Micronutrients Of Plant-Based Protein
Hemp Protein is a complete protein.
Hemp protein contains all of the essential amino acids (aka the building blocks of protein) that the human body needs and cannot make on its own. Animal proteins (think: chicken, beef, eggs, fish, etc.) are always complete proteins, but only a handful of plant proteins are complete, making hemp proteins a unique plant-based protein alternative.
Learn more: The MVP of Plant-Based Protein
Hemp Protein is packed with fiber.
Hemp Protein is a good source of dietary fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet provides a long list of health benefits—lowering risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, as well as improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar control—yet most Americans don’t meet their daily fiber goals.
Hemp Protein delivers good-for-you unsaturated fats.
Although hemp protein sounds like it is purely protein, it still contains some fat. The fats that remain are those heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, which includes Omega-3s. Omega-3 fats are important for their anti-inflammatory properties (chronic inflammation contributes to multiple chronic conditions) and hemp protein (and oil) are one of the few plant-based foods that contain Omega-3s.
Learn more: Finding Balance in the Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio
Hemp Protein contains disease-fighting compounds.
Some research, though mostly in animal models, suggests some of the compounds (called bioactive peptides) in hemp protein have blood pressure and cholesterol lowering properties, as well as antioxidant properties.
The Bottom Line on Hemp Protein
As a result of growing consumer interest in plant-based eating and protein-rich ingredients and foods, it’s likely that the body of research around hemp protein will continue to grow. In coming years, we’ll likely learn more about the benefits of hemp-based foods (to date, the research is limited because of hemp’s 75-plus year exile from growing in the U.S.). Based on currently available research though, there is no question that hemp protein is a superior nutritional choice.
If you’re looking to produce a protein-focused, plant-based food product, hemp protein is not only healthy, it is also easy to formulate with!
Learn more: The Health Benefits of Hemp - 8 Reasons Hemp Seed-Based Ingredients Should Be a Part of Your Ingredient Deck
If you're a food formulator interested in learning more about our revolutionary hemp protein products, we'd love to speak with you!
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