Just over a year after passing the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. had issued nearly 20,000 licenses to grow hemp, and firms had committed more than 500,000 acres of land to its use, according to Whitney Economics’ “The Field of Dreams – An Economic Survey of the United States Hemp Cultivation Industry.” By the end of 2019, the 479% growth in licensed acreage was almost entirely dedicated to targeting only one part of the plant—the aerial leaves and buds used to extract phytocannabinoids for CBD products. While that market appears to have a seemingly endless appeal to consumers, left on the table are tons of hemp stock and seeds that are still grossly undervalued. The fiber from hemp alone has thousands of uses, but perhaps a more significant opportunity exists even deeper within the plant.
Inside every hemp seed is the precious inner core, appropriately called the hemp heart, and it is a nutritional powerhouse. Hemp hearts net two intriguing ingredients: a potent plant-based protein and a highly nutritional oil. Hemp oil has tremendous appeal for foods and skin care products due to its powerful makeup of omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients. While most hemp oil comes from pressing whole hemp seeds, the resulting product tends to be dark green with pungent off-notes. Hemp hearts are the dehulled white inner parts of the hemp seed; hemp hearts are nutrient stores reserved for sprouting new hemp plants. However, removal of the shell presents a much cleaner ingredient that is white instead of green and is void of the bitter, pungent flavor typically associated with hemp seeds. This little detail can make a world of difference to the flavor and appearance of hemp oil when it comes to product development.
This excerpt is part of a longer article in the Innovating with healthy fats and oils – digital magazine. Click the link to read the rest, as well as access related content about the fats and oils market.
By age 12, Brian Zapp had visited nearly every continent exploring botanical ingredients with his mother, the CEO of a successful ingredient company. Today, as creative director, he manages the marketing division at Applied Food Sciences (AFS), where he continues to work with his mother, CEO Loretta Zapp, and brother, Jackson Zapp, (vice president of innovation.