Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One of my readers, Jilly Cholmondeley, sent in some information about hemp protein, which I digested for a week or so and decided to post. First of all, some definition: proteins are polymers made up of amino acids. Now, some history. The hemp protein edestin, which is for some odd reason illegal in Norway, was known as early as 1881. The protein protease was discovered in 1904, and further developments include the 1932 patenting of a gluing process that utilised a hemp protein and the 1937 patenting of a process to make spun filaments, films, and threads out of a hemp protein. These resembled wool and silk. Coincidentally, that was the same year that the US passed a tax act which effectively wiped out the hemp industry in the US, so that left such fibres undeveloped while plastics such as nylon were mass produced.
Edestin is 65% of the protein in hemp, with albumin being the second most common protein. Now for some more science: proteins are either structural or globlular. The former go to make up tissues, such as hair and skin, and the latter function as, or as parts of, hemoglobin, hormones, enzymes and antibodies. There are 21 known amino acids, and hemp proteins include all of them, thus hemp contains the 8 essential amino acids: arginine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalnine, threonine, tryptophan and valine; it also includes taurine and histiodine, which are essential for premature babies and children, respectively.

Where can we get hemp?
Here are some URLs, and readers, feel free to add any to the
comments spot so we can expand this list:

Nutiva www.nutiva.com
The Hemp Shop www.thehempshop.co.uk
Rocky Mountain Grain www.rockymountaingrainproducts.com

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