Friday, March 05, 2010

Salmonella Found In Common Food Ingredient

That ingredient is hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP). It's everywhere - soups, stews, sauces, gravies, dressings, frozen dinners, cheese, hotdogs, dips, seasoned snacks, dressings. This recall could get big.

As we know, the FDA does not have recall authority. Manufacturers recall voluntarily.I don't know if food manufacturers carry insurance against recalls, but given the changes in quantity food production and sourcing in the last decade (and the globalization of the food market), I wouldn't go into a food business without it.

Photo from bk_minhas' Flickr Photostream. Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Ranch Dressing and Dip is part of the recall.


RB said...

So HVP should only be found in industrial processed edible food like stuff. Food (real food) does not need flavor enhancers like HVP. The problem is our industrial food system has companies that are too big and do fail (i.e. fail to provide safe food). When they fail, we all pay and there are no bailouts.

Dr. Mel said...

I tried to ask a question about this & whether it's related to cookies sold by a certain large, organized group of pubescent girls. My comment wasn't accepted--was it b/c I mentioned the group by name? (The first word rhymes w/ Earl, and the second with louts.)

Bix said...

Earl lout cookies! Ha!

Good description:
"industrial processed edible food like stuff"
So much of that stuff around these days.
I wonder what HVP tastes like by itself.

Dr. Mel said...

Can't say I really understand this (part of a patent application), but it does make reference to the taste of HVP:
"Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins (HVPs) are very popular in Central Europe, the most famous is the product that is often named according to its inventor Julius Maggi. It is HVP obtained by the hydrolysis of protein carriers of vegetable and animal origin with hydrochloric acid, and with aromatic herbs occasionally being added thereto. HVPs, in and of themselves, have not only gained great importance in European cooking, but they are also the basis for a large number of products produced by the Maillard reaction which have a meat-like or a different spicy flavor, and are nowadays widely used in products such as bouillon cubes, gravy, etc.

An especially characteristic taste component of condiments is the so-called HVP lactone (3-hydroxy-4-methyl-5-ethyl-(5H)-furan-2-one) which is formed only under the drastic reaction conditions of acid hydrolysis (temperatures above 100° C. and under pressure).

The object of the invention, therefore, primarily resides in making available a product which has an HVP-like taste without containing flavoring lactone. Moreover, the product according to the invention should be as similar as possible to known food HVPs in its other properties and possibilities of use so that it can serve as a substitute for the Maillard products which are usually made from HVPs."

Dr. Mel said...

Here's one more reference to taste of HVP:

Bix said...

I see. So it's like, probably includes, MSG... a glutamate. A proteiny, meaty flavor.

I've read that HVP is like umami, the 5th taste (after salt, sour, sweet, bitter). A savory taste you can get by adding mushrooms or seaweed or ripe tomatoes to broth. Or aged cheese :)