Beware: Do You Really Know What's in Your Protein Bar?

As we began making ChocoRite Protein Bars 10 years ago we tried several formulas with varying results. Our protein bars were great out of the test kitchen and even better as we scaled them up on the production line. However, over time, the bars would dry out and lose their soft delicious consistencies. After thorough research, our food technicians suggested using the ingredients hydrolyzed collagen or hydrolyzed gelatin which competitors were using to keep their protein bars soft and moist over time.

As we began to experiment with this ingredient we found that it did prolong the softness of the protein bar and we were excited to actually have a solution. Then one day we received an email from the manufacturer containing a demand letter promising we would not feed this to animals. The letter was required to be signed and notarized in order to purchase hydrolyzed collagen. What goes into an ingredient that cannot be fed to animals? So, we did a little research and learned that hydrolyzed collagen/gelatin is collagen that is derived from bovine bone and cartilage. Basically, ground up pig/cow hooves and carcasses. Crushed, ground up, soaked in acid to remove the calcium, soaked again to break the collagen bonds and then dehydrated. Doesn’t that sound delicious? It was at this point that we decided we could not use these ingredients as none of us wanted to consume these ingredients much less feed it to our families.

As we continued to search for different ways of solving this issue it finally came to us. A unique combination of almond butter and specific whey protein isolates not only solved the softness issue but made the bars much healthier. Because whey isolate is much purer than other forms of proteins, the new bars would contain less carbohydrate by product. Also, the idea of almond butter sounded a lot better than pig hooves or fat shortening that other companies were using. The result was a very clean tasting delicious protein that we could be enjoyed by anyone. The only drawback was it was a lot more expensive; which explained why big food and big pharma were using other ingredients.

We have come a long way since the very first protein bars rolled off our lines and are very proud and happy with the taste, nutrition, and healthy profiles they deliver. Our protein bars generally do cost a few cents more but we think once you know what is in them (and what is in the competitors’ bars), they are well worth it. It basically comes down to you are what you eat and if you don’t mind eating crushed bones and cheaper forms of soy protein, you can certainly save some money. On the other hand, if you would like a protein bar you want to feel great about, try ChocoRite bars today and see why they taste just about as good as chocolate itself.