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What Are "Hydrolyzed Soy Protein" And "Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein," And Why Are They In Everything?
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June 18, 2013
7:30 am
Scott
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Great Article, thanks for the concise information. Although I have two questions for you.

1. I had a severe reaction to Great Lakes Gelatin. Are you saying that it's not the glutamate causing the reaction but the hydrolyzed protein itself or in conjunction with the free glutamate? And obviously with any MSG product.

2. Is it possible to make homemade stock with beef morrow bones cooked for 1-5 days at a simmer(without using sulfuric acid of course) and create hydrolyzed protein that may cause a reaction?

Stock is supposed to be the most healing for this condition and I am having a reaction to something that I cant put my finger on. Could it be the stock and fat?

June 18, 2013
7:48 pm
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Scott:

It's not possible to be allergic to single amino acids, because we would die instantly, our bodies being composed of all 22 essential and non-essential amino acids.  We can only be allergic to proteins -- chains of amino acids.  (For a primer on proteins, read this article.)

Perhaps you're allergic to some of the proteins in gelatin and stock...but then you ought to have problems with meat, too, since there's plenty of connective tissue in meat.  This doesn't seem likely.

It is theoretically possible to have a non-allergic reaction to large amounts of free glutamate, but I'm skeptical that it's your problem with gelatin or bone broth.  Here's the Great Lakes analysis page on the free glutamic acid content of gelatin: there's more in fruit juice, let alone foods known to be high in free glutamic acid like Parmesan cheese or soy sauce.

That being said, if you do react to such foods, then yes, bone broths will have a lot of free glutamic acid in them...as will any protein cooked for a long time.  The longer you cook a protein, the more the proteins will untangle and break apart, and you'll get more free amino acids of all kinds -- not just glutamic acid.

JS

July 4, 2013
12:52 pm
Jacquiline Melancon
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Hey, great site but there is a problem whereby sometimes I get redirected to the root page when I look at different topics within your web page.

July 8, 2013
12:34 am
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Jacquiline:

That's likely an intermittent problem with the caching software.  I've wiped and rebuilt the cache, which usually fixes any problems.

JS

September 25, 2013
2:07 pm
Joel R. Hanson
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Simple solution. Buy certified organic. Nothing can be hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, chemically processed/altered, blasted with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers or GMO. Just pure goodness.

October 3, 2013
11:51 pm
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Joel:

"Organic" is entirely a self-reported, self-policed label, and thus doesn't mean much...

...especially for products from China and overseas.

JS

October 6, 2013
6:14 pm
Bree
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In a google search for hydrolyzed wheat protein, this article popped up first, then a few down the page I found theherbarie.com.

This is one of their product descriptions:
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein is a naturally derived, hydrolyzed wheat protein that contains wheat oligosaccharides (carbohydrates) and constitutes a unique hydrating complex offering a combination of moisture-balancing and film-forming properties that work synergistically to give hair better body control, and skin, a smoother softer feel. Wonderfully moisturizing in lotions/creams, anti-aging products. Exceptional in shampoos, conditioners, body wash.
INCI Name: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (and) Hyrolyzed Wheat Starch.

It seems they are playing on the words hydrolyzed and hydrating. I'm not sure what part of boiling something in sulfuric acid overnight and applying to the skin is hydrating. Unless I am interpreting your article wrong?

October 16, 2013
4:54 am
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Bree:

First, hydrolyzed wheat protein doesn't contain any carbohydrates by definition, so their copywriter is confused. 

Also, I have no idea what hydrolyzed wheat protein is doing in shampoo or soap anyway.  Nor do I understand how a protein can be "moisturizing".

Frankly, most bath stuff and cosmetics are witchery and woo anyway.  As for myself, I use coconut-based bath soap and coconut oil as lotion.

JS

October 16, 2013
5:10 am
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J. Stanton said:

(in response to Bree) ... most bath stuff and cosmetics are witchery and woo anyway.  As for myself, I use coconut-based bath soap and coconut oil as lotion.

JS

I'll pick you up on this later ...

I've been turning the clock back on toiletries and gone back to old-fashioned razors with simple olive oil and citrus pre-shave, aftershave of mint, lavender and juniper steeped in Witch Hazel. I still use an Eau de Toilette, but that's simply because I like to ... just like I enjoy Guinness.

Interesting ... one for another thread.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 25, 2013
6:47 pm
david
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My protein, which I will never buy again has - Sucralose, Soy Lecithin Contains milk, soy and wheat

October 28, 2013
4:09 pm
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david:

I'm not too disturbed about soy lecithin...but "contains wheat" is not a good sign!

JS

October 28, 2013
4:39 pm
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What exactly is soy lecithin? I know it's a thickener ... well, it can form and hold bubbles, which I guess translates as a sort of thickener/bulker when it comes to protein shakes, but it is in absolutely everything.

I know lecithin can be garnered from egg, which to my mind is preferable, even if is is "laboratory extracted", but soy ... hmmm ... I can't quite get myself to accept it.

What say you gnolls? Is it something simply not to worry about, like the little whatever there is in Worcestershire Sauce that I really don't mind at all, or is it something we should seek to avoid?

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 30, 2013
4:08 pm
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Paul:

Lecithin is an emulsifier: it helps a mix of ingredients remain homogenous.  (More info.)  It was originally isolated from egg yolks.  That's why you can make mayonnaise, Caesar dressing, etc. with egg yolks: the lecithin lets the oil and water stay mixed, instead of separating.

Soy lecithin is cheap these days because we subsidize soybeans so heavily, so it's generally used instead of egg yolks.

Lecithin itself contains a lot of phosphadityl choline, which is a good thing: you can even buy lecithin as a dietary supplement, though anyone eating like a predator will get plenty of PC from whole eggs.

As far as soy lecithin, I don't worry much about it: it's used in very low quantities, and there's not much in it besides choline and phospholipids, which you want.  (Sadly, it's probably the only source of choline in the diet of the average American/Briton.)  Yes, there are probably tiny traces of soy protein in there...but if you're willing to eat industrially-produced Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, etc., tiny traces of soy are well down the list of my concerns.  Chris Kresser recently wrote an article about it, if you're curious to learn more.

JS

October 31, 2013
2:47 am
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Thank you, J - I will seek out Chris's article on the matter.

I agree, there is little to fear from trace amounts. Eating as we do, it's not a concern. I take a relaxed view on condiments, but even there, will seek out the least of the evils out there. I've seen Soy Lecithin listed on high percentage chocolate and put the bar back. Maybe I'll indulge a little now.

I had to look up sources of choline: eggs, scallops, shrimp, sardines, cauliflower ... got it covered. Naturally, grass-fed beef is right up there as a great source, too.

Cheers!

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

November 12, 2013
8:16 am
D Umphress
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This reminds me of an incident I had years ago with a fish sauce, which, like many, had HVP in it. It gave me a severe headache, tapering off after about 3 days; I am not prone to these, and have not had one since, so it may not have been the HVP itself, given how many other things I eat it in. However, these fish sauces and soy sauces with HVP are what I call "fake" sauces - instead of being made using the time consuming fermentation methods, they take short cuts to do it in about 1/10 the time, and add HVP, and probably other chemicals attached to it. So I try to avoid it whenever possible, though it really is next to impossible.

November 15, 2013
4:03 am
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D Umphress:

It's easy to buy the real stuff when cooking at home, and it's not even expensive!  (Especially given how strong fish sauce is...you can only use a few drops of the real stuff at a time unless you want your dish to taste like rotten anchovies.)  It's when eating out that you don't know what's been used...I'm thinking of the Chinese soy sauce made from hydrolyzed human hair.

JS

January 21, 2014
10:19 pm
Sammy
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Hi,

I really appreciated your article. My young daughter cannot tolerate Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, or Soy Lecithin. bHT is a no-no as well.

You are right that Soy Lecithin is a cheap emulsifier. It also has a longer shelf life than egg lecithin. And given the extent of a reaction my kiddo has to it and the fact that we've done the RAST testing for allergies, I would suggest that as a protein, it is so severely modified via these chemical processes that it no longer even register as "soy-protein."

I pretty much must cook/bake/make everything we eat. Breads, crackers, sauces, everything. I thank my lucky stars that we don't have any of the most common food allergies on top of this because, it would be a nightmare.

I feel a little like my kid is the canary in the coalmine in this scenario. There is a fundamental problem with our food and our culture and politics about food. We all should eat better. My family has to and it is significantly difficult to do so.

January 23, 2014
6:36 pm
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Sammy:

You have my sympathy: it's very difficult to avoid industrial ingredients in food.

Real food, made with real ingredients, tends to be perishable.  It's much cheaper to make, distribute, and stock things that don't require refrigeration and don't go bad...you can just leave them on the shelf until they sell.  Industrial ingredients also usually make perishable food less perishable, which is why they're so ubiquitous.

On the good side, your family is probably eating a much healthier diet as a result of all this.  But I understand that it would be so much more convenient to have the option of occasionally cheating!

JS

January 24, 2014
11:42 am
Sammy
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Thanks. I didn't mean to get on a soap box or whine, "Poor-me!" But, it has been a powerful education about food. And I will tell you that as a family, we all eat the same foods in solidarity. We keep the house allergy free.

The result is that we all eat as much as we want and we are all healthy. My hubby and I are active people but we don't watch our weight because we simply don't need to. I think that the Paleo diet is pretty accurate. I just happen to like to use butter more than they suggest.

One of the other things I've learned is that Soy Lecithin is 50% of what is in food release sprays and shortening. So many times, for us, we can't even purchase something that doesn't contain one of our problem-foods because it has been sprayed with the problem food.

All in all, I am happy with how we eat. But it has opened my eyes to the larger reality that the culture we live in is eating horrible stuff all the time and it is amazing to me how hard it is to avoid. If we didn't have a medical reason, the cost alone would make us eat more poorly.

January 27, 2014
11:43 am
pzo
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Glutamines, etc. as a cause of autism:

Video: Dr. Katherine Reid at TedX

Dr. Katherine Reid completely cures her daughter's autism by diet. You'll want to jerk a tear or two at the very end.

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