Impossible Foods, the Bay Area startup that continues to make headlines with its “bleeding” plant-based Impossible Burger, says it’s got a plan in place to replace “all” farmed animals with plant-based products.
“We’re not a burger company,” company chief communications officer Rachel Konrad said recently to Mercury News. “We’re a tech platform for food. Our first product was ‘proof of concept.’ We can have second, or tenth, products after that.”
At a press briefing earlier this month, Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods’ founder and CEO and Stanford University biochemist, said the company wants to “completely replace animals as a food production technology by 2035.”
The “secret” ingredient to Impossible Foods’ success with its burger and the other animal-like foods is the discovery of heme – an iron-rich molecule found in animal protein that's responsible for its flavor. Impossible Foods' scientists discovered it also in the root of the soybean plant; and it plays a critical role in the development of the meaty-like flavor of the company’s flagship product.
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“When heme is blended with a broth that the company calls ‘nutrients’ — amino acids, sugars and vitamins — and then cooked, it tastes like beef,” reports Mercury News.
“It’s a platform for how to make things that have tensile strength and are juicy,” Celeste Holz-Schietinger, the company’s principal scientist explained. “That can be transferred to make things that are much larger,” she said, “like cold cuts, chicken, steaks, pork, lamb and fish…even if you wanted whale meat.”
Impossible Foods raised $75 million in a recent fundraising round that will enable it to increase production to one million pounds of its plant-based meat per month. In a partnership with Umami Burger already flourishing in Los Angeles, the Impossible Burger is going to be available in the restaurant’s New York locations beginning October 2nd.
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