These are the 21 ingredients that make an Impossible Burger look and taste like meat

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Impossible Foods

There are 21 ingredients in an Impossible Burger, including soy protein, salt, and lots of vitamins.

Plant-based "meat" is poised to become a $140 billion industry, with Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat leading the way.

With commitments from major chains like Burger King, which is set to roll out the Impossible Whopper across America by the end of 2019, Impossible Foods seems closer than ever to its goal of starting a plant-based "meat" revolution.Advertisement

So what's in the plant-based meat substitute with big ambitions to take over the food industry?

Read more: Plant-based 'meat' is conquering fast food. Here's where you can get meat substitutes like the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Taco.

Impossible Foods' chief science officer, David Lipman, may be a biotechnologist and genomes expert, but the taste of meat is in his blood. Lipman received his education in meat during his youth, while working at his father's meat market in upstate New York.

In a January blog post, Lipman wrote that the Impossible science team "spent years analyzing meat and recreating every element of the sensory experience  -  smell, flavor, texture, touch, nutrition, sizzle factor."

Impossible Foods uses genetic engineering to make ingredients that are essential to the taste and texture of its plant-based meat substitute: soy leghemoglobin (also known as heme) and soy protein. Soy protein replaced wheat protein as the main base for Impossible's second recipe, while soy leghemoglobin is responsible for making the patty taste like meat.While some have criticized Impossible Foods for its use of genetic engineering, the Food and Drug Administration deemed heme safe to eat in 2018.Advertisement

According to Impossible Foods' website, the five main ingredients of an Impossible Burger 2.0 are:

  • Water
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Natural Flavors

Impossible "meat" also contains 2% or less of:

  • Potato Protein
  • Methylcellulose
  • Yeast Extract
  • Cultured Dextrose
  • Food Starch modified
  • Soy Leghemoglobin
  • Salt
  • Soy Protein isolate
  • Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
  • Zinc Glutonate
  • Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)
  • Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
  • Niacin
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Vitamin B12
The Impossible Burger is kosher and halal certified, but not organic. A four-ounce patty packs 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, and 19 grams of protein - a slight improvement upon the nutritional profile of the original recipe, which had 290 calories, 17 grams of fat, 580 milligrams of sodium, and 27 grams of protein.Advertisement

In his blog post, Lipman wrote that Impossible Foods would continue to improve its recipe's taste and nutritional value.

"At Impossible Foods, we've been working on a way to turn plants into meat for only seven years, and we're getting better at it every day," he wrote.