Hydrolyzed protein

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Hydrolyzed protein is a protein that has been at least partially hydrolyzed or broken down into its component amino acids. While many means of achieving this exist, two of the most common methods are prolonged boiling in a strong acid (acid-HVP) or strong base, or using an enzyme such as pancreatic protease to simulate the naturally occurring hydrolytic process.


Protein hydrolysis can be used to modify the allergenic properties of infant formula. Reducing the size of cow milk proteins in the formula makes it more suitable for consumption by babies suffering from milk protein intolerance.

Common hydrolyzed products used in food are hydrolyzed soy protein and hydrolyzed yeast, which are used as flavor enhancers because the hydrolysis of the protein produces free glutamic acid.

Hydrolyzed protein is also used in the manufacturing process of certain specially formulated hypoallergenic pet foods, notably dog foods for dogs and puppies that suffer from allergies caused by certain protein types in standard commercial dog food brands. The protein contents of the foods are split into peptides which reduces the dog's immune system from recognizing an allergic threat. Hydrolyzed protein diets for cats are often recommended for felines with food allergies and certain types of digestive issues.

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