- The Impossible Burger, made by Impossible Foods, was designed to taste and “bleed” like real meat.
- Impossible’s current recipe was cooked up by David Lipman, the company’s chief science officer, who said the company “spent years analysing meat and recreating every element of the sensory experience.”
- Here are the 21 ingredients that Impossible “meat” is made of.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
With commitments from major chains such as Burger King, which is set to roll out the Impossible Whopper across America by the end of 2019, Impossible Foods seems closer than ever to its goal of starting a plant-based “meat” revolution.
So what’s in the plant-based meat substitute with big ambitions to take over the food industry?
David Lipman, Impossible Foods’ chief science officer, may be a biotechnologist and genomes expert, but the taste of meat is in his blood. Lipman received his education in meat during his youth while working at his father’s meat market in upstate New York.
In a January blog post, Lipman wrote that the Impossible science team “spent years analysing meat and recreating every element of the sensory experience – smell, flavour, texture, touch, nutrition, sizzle factor.”
Impossible Foods uses genetic engineering to make ingredients that are essential to the taste and texture of its plant-based meat substitute: soy leghemoglobin (also known as heme) and soy protein. Soy protein replaced wheat protein as the main base for Impossible’s second recipe, while soy leghemoglobin is responsible for making the patty taste like meat.
While some have criticised Impossible Foods for its use of genetic engineering, the Food and Drug Administration deemed heme safe to eat in 2018.
According to Impossible Foods’ website, the five main ingredients of an Impossible Burger 2.0 are:
- Soy-protein concentrate
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Natural flavours.
Impossible “meat” also contains 2% or less of:
- Potato protein
- Yeast extract
- Cultured dextrose
- Food starch, modified
- Soy leghemoglobin
- Soy-protein isolate
- Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)
- Zinc gluconate
- Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)
- Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C)
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Vitamin B12
The Impossible Burger is kosher and halal certified but not organic. A 4 ounce patty packs 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, and 19 grams of protein – a slight improvement on the nutritional profile of the original recipe, which had 290 calories, 17 grams of fat, 580 milligrams of sodium, and 27 grams of protein.
In his blog post, Lipman wrote that Impossible Foods would continue to improve its recipe’s taste and nutritional value.
“At Impossible Foods, we’ve been working on a way to turn plants into meat for only seven years, and we’re getting better at it every day,” he wrote.
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