Green Hemp Tofu of Pueblo: A Soy-Free, Protein-Rich, and Tasty Alternative

A Healthy and Nutritious Plant-Based Alternative to Traditional Sources of Protein

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a new hemp-based tofu, instead of traditional soybeans. Hemp seeds have high nutritional value and researchers at CSU Pueblo were able to optimize a protocol to process and create a new, nutritious type of tofu.

Hemp tofu offers an allergy-friendly alternative to soy-based products like tofu and tempeh, while also providing added nutritional benefits and a pleasant nutty flavor. Moreover, the green hemp tofu developed here has been supplemented with other vegetables, providing an extensive range of texture, flavor profiles, and added health benefits.

Background

Hemp seeds have been utilized in the human diet for thousands of years. This green hemp tofu super-food has enormous nutritional value including essential amino acids, fatty acids, as well as omega-3s, vitamin E, and iron. Moreover, hemp tofu has the potential to be an alternative high protein source for individuals with an allergy to soy products. Despite the nutrient benefits, hemp tofu has yet to be well-received in the market due to its unique flavor profile and texture.

Consequently, researchers at Colorado State University Pueblo have endeavored to overcome these previous shortcomings through the optimization of processing and the development of a standard procedure to create a delicious and firm tofu from hemp seeds.

Overview

Proprietary methods of making green hemp tofu are available upon request

Why Green Hemp Tofu?

  • 375 million people in the world identify as vegetarian, with nearly 10 million in the US (1)
  • 40% increase in tofu purchases during supply chain issues in the first half of 2020 (2)
  • 300% increase in households in the US using tofu from 2019 to 2021
  • Many consumers worldwide are looking for affordable, tasty meat alternatives and feel confident in buying and preparing them

Benefits

  • Hemp seeds contain all 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine
  • Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) as well as gamma-linolenic acid
  • High-quality protein source, especially for vegetarians, vegans, and those with soy allergies
  • Hemp seeds do not contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen and are contra-indicated for some individuals
  • Improved texture, taste and color from whole food additives like spinach and green Pueblo chiles increases likelihood of widespread adoption of hemp tofu
  • Improved options for vegetarians and a healthy addition for a protein-rich, plant-based diet

Applications

  • Manufacture of hemp tofu and hemp tofu varieties
Last Updated: March 2022
Green hemp tofu on a plate
Opportunity

Available for Licensing
TRL: 9

IP Status

Copyright

Inventors

Eun Soo Kim
Sang-Hyuck Park
Chad Kinney

Reference Number
2021-094
Licensing Manager

Jessy McGowan
Jessy.McGowan@colostate.edu
970-491-7100