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Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Exactly Is In My Vegetarian Worthington FriPat?

Hi my fine friends,

Remember my "Battle of the Veggie Burgers" blog?  Hey!  I'm not asking much as it was just posted yesterday!  Are you really reading my blog???  I'm not much of a photographer so it can be just the pictures that you "read".

Well, I've done some investigation to see exactly what Worthington (Kellogg's) is selling me and what I have consumed.  Will I obtain super-plastic doll powers?  Will I be able to leap tall buildings with a single bounce?  Will I turn Hulk green?  Can I now spin spider webs?  Yeah... I want to know too!

Ingredients (as listed below)

Here are the ingredients and what I have learned of each.  Maybe we can learn something?

Textured vegetable protein (wheat gluten, soy protein concentrate, water for hydration):  Acceptable.  Bob's Red Mill brand simply lists TVP ingredient as "defatted soy flour" and nothing more.  It appears that Worthington combines wheat gluten and water with their soy flour.  By the way, the expression "soy flour" is analogous with "defatted soy flour".  Afterall, soy flour is the by-product when oils are extracted from soybeans.

Corn oil:  Grudgingly, acceptable.  It's cheap and high in saturated fats.  For comparison, corn oil has 1.761 g of saturated and 0.0388 g of trans fat per 0.05 oz (1 Tbsp).  Canola oil?  0.994 g saturated and 0 g trans fat for same.  Olive oil?  1.864 g saturated and 0 g trans fat for same.

Water:  Acceptable.  H2O.  Enough said?  I'm trusting they utilize an acceptable water source.

Egg whites:  Acceptable.  Would prefer free-range cage free egg whites but I'm okay with this.

Calcium caseinate:  Acceptable.  It's a protein produced from casein in skim milk.  Research shows me that this is a perfectly acceptable food ingredient.

Dextrose (< 2%):  Acceptable.  Nothing more than a simple sugar.  Problem in high concentrates but acceptable as used by Worthington.

Modified tapioca starch:  Acceptable.  Modifying a tapioca starch is used enhance the starch as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or an emulsifier.

Natural and artificial flavors from non-meat sourcesTo Be Determined.  I have e-mail Worthington to inquire what this may be or what it means.  I will let you know what they say (and if they say).  
03APR Update:  Received a most satisfactory response from Kelloggs as follows:  "The natural and artificial flavors used in our products may be made from products that exist in nature such as plants and even yeast. As an example, natural flavors may include natural peanut butter, spices, vanilla extract, etc. We are not at liberty to disclose the the components or make up of the flavorings as these mixes are confidential and proprietary to our suppliers. We apologize for the inconvenience."  I am pleasantly surprised to hear back from them so quickly and this reinforces my trust in Kellogg's products.  Kudos to Kelloggs!

Hydrolyzed corn gluten:  Okay, but why???  Safe for human consumption but rarely used due to taste.  Makes a great herbicide though!  It's a by-product created during the wet milling of corn.  But, again, why use it Worthington?

Soy protein:  Acceptable.  Dehulled, defatted soybean meal.

Wheat gluten:  Acceptable.  Composed of two wheat proteins, gliadin and glutenin.  Also sold as "sietan".

Autolyzed yeast extract:  Acceptable.  Autolyzed yeast (containing the cell walls) or autolyzed yeast extract consists of concentrations of yeast cells that are allowed to die and break up, so that the yeasts' endogenous digestive enzymes break their proteins down into simpler compounds (amino acids and peptides).

Soy protein isolate:  Acceptable.  Made from defatted soy flour which has had most of the non-protein components, fats and carbohydrates removed

Maltodextrin:  Acceptable.  Produced from starch by partial hydrolysis.

Dried onion:  Acceptable.

Caramel color:  Acceptable.  One of the oldest and most widely-used food colorings.

Garlic powder:  Acceptable.

Cellulose gum:  Acceptable.  Cellulose gum is a popular substance due to its ability to help thicken, stabilize and emulsify a product. Cellulose gum is farmed from trees and cotton and is therefore readily renewable, abundant and cheap.

Spices:  Acceptable.

Celery:  Acceptable.

Corn starch:  Acceptable.

Onion powder:  Acceptable.

Niacinamide:  Acceptable.  Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that occurs in most natural foods.

Iron [ferrous sulfate]:  Acceptable.  Ferrous sulfate is the chemical compound with the formula (FeSO4), known since ancient times as copperas.  It is most commonly encountered as the blue-green heptahydrate.

Vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate]:  Acceptable.

Vitamin B6 [pyridcodine hydrochloride]:  Acceptable.

Vitamin B2 [riboflavin]:  Acceptable.

Vitamin B12 [cyanocobalamin]:  Acceptable.

Paprika:  Acceptable.

Soy lecithin:  Acceptable.

So... There you have it my fine friends.  I now know what I am putting into my body.  But, of course, this would have been better served had I done this before consuming the product?  We plastic Hollywood dolls aren't the brightest bulbs in the bunch.

But, after the belated research I feel comfortable consuming Worthington's FriPat patties.  However, once again I shall reiterate that my mind will now be focused on a less processed product.  I am certain that with experience, knowledge and time the food scientists at Kellogg's have developed these components to manufacture and distribute their vegetarian burger alternative.  Unbeknownst to me, I am confident there are issue and concerns related to the mass production and distribution of a safe food source to the general public.  Therefore, let not Chucky judge these nothing less than safe and delicious!

Hi-dee hi-dee maybe-I-should-be-checking-out-what-I-am-about-to-eat-BEFORE-consuming-ho my friends!


  1. this is great. thanks.

  2. Has anyone ever tried making Worthington chili or linketts etc.. on their own? I'm looking everywhere for a recipe, but there's nothing.

  3. Are FriPats still be produced? I understand Kellogg's has sold Worthington and Cedar Lake Foods to Heritage Health Foods. Thank you.

    1. Going nuts trying to find out as well

    2. Going nuts trying to find out as well

  4. Are FriPats still be produced? I understand Kellogg's has sold Worthington and Cedar Lake Foods to Heritage Health Foods. Thank you.

  5. Yes, I found them in a small health food store in downtown Brooklyn!!

  6. Yes my husband works for HHF and they are still making them.