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What is HVP?

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 7, 2010

We are so inured to unknown and unpronounceable preservatives, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, coloring agents and other chemicals in our food that another additive found in the list of ingredients is an afterthought. Until recently, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or HVP was just another acronym for some synthesized food additive. The official name of this product is acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein as the manufacturing process in making HVP involves sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid.

The Food and Drug Administration has recently recalled certain lots of this food additive and flavor enhancer for salmonella contamination. The recall began when several food manufacturers found salmonella in hydrolyzed vegetable protein in salad dressings, soup mixes and other manufactured food products. HVP is a processed food product most often used in a liquid form. It is a flavor enhancer found in a wide range of products such as dips, salad dressings, gravies, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and other processed foods. The health concerns about salmonella in HVP arise from the fact that this additive is added to foods after any cooking to preserve its properties as a flavor enhancer. Perhaps what is more disturbing is the fact that HVP is added to so many “ready-to-eat” foods that also are not cooked before they are eaten.

Manufacturing HVP begins by boiling soybeans, wheat or corn in hydrochloric acid and neutralizing the resulting acidic solution with sodium hydroxide. A substitute for monosodium glutamate or MSG, another flavor enhancer known to cause health problems, HVP is added to products to make them taste better. Because most consumers know that MSG is a potential health hazard for some people, processed food manufacturers use HVP to boost the flavor of their products and can claim that their product is MSG-free.

There are currently no regulations in the U.S. or Canada regarding how much HVP or MSG can be added to foods. Small amounts of these additives generally do not pose a threat to anyone’s health. However, food manufacturers have a vested interest in making sure that their products taste great and may be inclined to add more flavor enhancer than is necessary. When the HVP recall was announced, no salmonella outbreaks or illnesses related to HVP had been reported to the FDA. But if you have any dips, soup mixes, dressings, snacks or any other processed food in your home, you might want to take a look at the list of ingredients before serving it to your family.

Orlando HVP recall attorney James O. Cunningham is very concerned about chemical additives present in so many processed foods and has many years of experience successfully representing clients in food borne illness cases. If you or someone you care for has had an adverse reaction and become ill from salmonella-tainted HVP, Central Florida product liability lawyer James O. Cunningham may be able to help. He works hard to help clients recover the compensation they may be entitled to under the law to defray medical expenses, lost wages and other illness-related expenses. Contact one of his many law offices throughout Central Florida to schedule a consultation about your case.

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James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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