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posted by martyb on Friday June 24 2016, @03:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the Let's-get-Mikey! dept.

Several startups are trying to take plant-based meat alternatives to a new level. They include Impossible Foods, which has created a meatless burger that contains heme, a molecule that contributes color, taste, and texture to meat:

This summer, diners in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will get their hands on a hamburger that's been five years in the making. The burger looks, tastes and smells just like beef — except it's made entirely from plants. It sizzles on the grill and even browns and oozes fat when it cooks. It's the brainchild of former Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown and his research team at Northern California-based Impossible Foods.

[...] It's not the only faux meat company selling bloody plant patties. Last month, Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat made headlines when it released the Beyond Burger, its pea protein burger that sizzles like real meat and "bleeds" beet juice. The burgers quickly sold out after debuting at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colo. Beyond Meat's investors include Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates is also backing Impossible Foods. So is billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Google Ventures. All told, the company has raised some $182 million in seed funding. Last year, Impossible Foods turned down Google's offer to buy the company for $200 to $300 million.

The Impossible Burger is more than just peas and carrots smashed together: It's the result of some pretty high-tech research. Brown's team analyzes meat at a molecular level to determine what makes a burger taste, smell and cook the way it does. He wants his burgers to be squishy while raw, then firm up and brown on the grill. He believes everything from an animal's fat tissue to muscle cells can be replicated using plant compounds.

The true test? Making the plant-based substance carcinogenic.


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  • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @05:39AM

    by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @05:39AM (#364747)

    Huh. I'll have to try Boca--which variety did you eat?

    The vegetarian/vegan burgers I've tried are OK for a few bites, but not great, and none of 'em held together properly on the grill stove or in the oven. Could be intentional, though--I live in cattle country.

    OTOH, I was at a local diner the other day, and I could have sworn that the burger I received was NOT meat. The flavor was alright, but it had an unpleasant chewy texture that I did not care for. Eugh.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 24 2016, @05:52AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday June 24 2016, @05:52AM (#364752) Journal
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    • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @06:00AM

      by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @06:00AM (#364756)

      Tried that one--it fell apart in the bun, even with cheese. Not a bad flavour, for a veggieburger.

    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday June 24 2016, @12:11PM

      by CoolHand (438) on Friday June 24 2016, @12:11PM (#364877) Journal
      Those are very good... Unfortunately for us vegans, they are only vegetarian, not vegan...
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:13PM (#365000)

        Oh well, as long as you, Live Long and Prosper.