Swiss multinational Nestec received early January US patent 6171621 for “Method for manufacturing a food based on a protein hydrolysate.” The invention covers a beverage based on protein hydrolysate in which the hydrolysis takes place by enzymatic action after the product has been packed.

Besides Nestec, the other firm active in this technology is Union des Cooperatives Laitieres d’Isigny-sur-Mer et de Sainte-Mer-Eglise.


    A liquid food based on a protein hydrolysate and a method for manufacturing the liquid food. The food is manufactured by preparing a solution of a starting material containing proteins, adjusting the pH of the solution, sterilizing the solution, aseptically adding to the solution a proteolytic enzyme in an amount which is sufficient to produce the desired degree of hydrolysis, aseptically packaging the sterilized solution, and allowing the solution and enzyme to effect hydrolysis after packaging.

First (of 20) Claim:

    A method for manufacturing a liquid food comprising:

    preparing a solution of a protein-containing starting material;
    adjusting an initial pH of the solution to a value of between about 3 and 9 by the addition of base or acid;
    sterilizing the solution of protein-containing starting material;
    aseptically adding to the solution a proteolytic enzyme in an amount of about 0.01-0.1% by weight based on the amount of protein material; and
    aseptically packaging the sterilized solution;
    wherein the enzyme hydrolyzes the solution to a point of equilibrium consuming all of the enzyme.

By Navroz Havewala, correspondent