Herbal "meat" is expected to become a $ 140 billion industry, with Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat in the lead.
With commitments from big chains such as Burger King, which is to roll out the Impossible Whopper across America by the end of 2019, Impossible Foods seems closer than ever to its goal of getting started a revolution of the "meat" herbal.
So, what is there in the plant-based meat substitute that has big ambitions to take control of the food industry?
Read more: The "meat" herbal is conquering fast food. Here's where you can get meat substitutes like the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Taco.
Impossible Foods' Scientific Director, David Lipman, may be a biotechnologist and an expert in genomes, but the taste of meat is in his blood. Lipman was educated in the meat business in his youth, while he was working on his father's meat market in upstate New York.
In a January article on the blog, Lipman wrote that the Impossible Science Team "spent years analyzing meat and recreating all the elements of the sensory experience – smell, flavor, texture, touch, nutrition, sizzling factor ".
Impossible Foods uses genetic engineering to make ingredients essential to the taste and texture of its plant-based meat substitute: soy leghemoglobin (also called heme) and soy protein. Soy protein has replaced wheat protein as the main base of the second impossible recipe, while soy leghemoglobin is responsible for giving the patty the taste of meat.
Although some have criticized Impossible Foods for using genetic engineering, the Food and Drug Administration has ruled that the heme was safe for health in 2018.
According to the Impossible Foods website, the five main ingredients of a Impossible Burger 2.0 are:
- Soy protein concentrate
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Natural flavors
Impossible "meat" also contains 2% or less of:
- Potato Protein
- Yeast extract
- Dextrose of culture
- Modified starch
- Soybean hemoglobin
- Soy protein isolate
- Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
- Zinc Glutonate
- Thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1)
- Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C)
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Vitamin B12
Impossible Burger is certified kosher and halal, but not organic. A four ounce cake contains 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 370 mg of sodium and 19 grams of protein – a slight improvement over the nutritional profile of the original recipe, which contained 290 calories, 17 grams of fat, 580 mg of sodium and 27 grams of protein.
In his blog, Lipman wrote that "Impossible Foods" would continue to improve the taste and nutritional value of its recipe.
"At Impossible Foods, we are working on a way to turn plants into meat for only seven years and we are improving every day," he wrote.