Happy times for Impossible Foods

In 2020 the growth of plant-based companies will keep the trend followed during the last year. Burger King has released its Impossible Whopper, a plant-based protein version of Burger King's famous Whopper sandwich, made with an Impossible Foods burger patty. Also, FDA approved soy leghemoglobin as a colour additive, the "secret" of the taste of impossible Foods.


Courtesy of Brian Cooley/CNET

On the mid-2019 Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper, a plant-based protein version of Burger King's famous Whopper sandwich, made with an Impossible Foods burger patty that looks and taste the same. One of the secrets behind the Impossible burger is the source of heme, a molecule that gives the colour and bloody taste to raw meat.


The major source of heme in meat is the protein myoglobin, which is found in muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals.

Impossible Foods found that the roots of soya have a functionally identical protein known as leghemoglobin but extremely difficult to make economically viable its extraction. The solution was that the scientists at Impossible Foods engineered a type of yeast to make soybean leghemoglobin (yes, they used GMO yeast to produced it!).

They grow this yeast in fermenters like those you would find at a brewery, but instead of making beer, they get lots of leghemoglobin, and can make it at a cost that enables them to sell burgers at a competitive price.


Maybe you don't like genetic engineering but Impossible Foods has arguments to refute the correct use of GMO on its product. They claim that since Impossible Burgers made its products with leghemoglobin, it generates 87% less greenhouse gases, requires 95% less land and uses 75% less water to produce the burgers comparing the burgers from cows.


Finally, FDA (the federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) has approved soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in uncooked ground beef analogue products (e.g., vegetable burgers) and affirms that the amount of soy leghemoglobin protein does not exceed 0.8 percent by weight of the uncooked ground beef analogue product is safe.




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