Many high-tech start-up companies dream of creating a product that will change the world. The product from California’s Impossible Foods is particularly unique: a plant-based hamburger patty that looks, tastes and smells exactly like beef.
This is not just about making soy or vegetables in the shape of hamburger patties. Impossible Foods is using analytical chemistry to research the molecular compounds that give meat its properties. Squishy and pink when raw. Firm and brown when grilled. The key is heme, a molecule that is rich in iron. While heme is prevalent in red meat, it can also be found in plants. The start-up has found a way to extract heme from plants on an industrial scale.
And this is not just about fooling people’s taste buds, either. Impossible Foods wants to create foods that are less expensive, less resource-intensive and less destructive to animals and the environment. Their burger contains no hormones, cholesterol, antibiotics or slaughterhouse contaminants.
Impossible Foods’ laboratory includes analytical equipment from Agilent. This article from National Public Radio includes a photo of CEO Patrick Brown using an Agilent instrument to demonstrate the company’s work.
Impossible Foods plans to debut the burger this summer at a restaurant in New York, followed by restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Longer term, the company also hopes to get its product into grocery stores.
Agilent is committed to ensuring the quality and safety of the world’s food. We are also committed to ensuring the quality and safety of the world’s environment. And we are happy to support the work of start-ups such as Impossible Foods.
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