One of Silicon Valley's hottest food startups has hit an unexpected snag with its key ingredient

Business Insider | 8/9/2017 | Melia Robinson
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A burger from Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods looks like meat, smells like meat, and tastes (enough) like real beef. It's made entirely from plant-based sources in a lab facility.

The burger, which debuted in 2016, has made fans out of food-royalty, like Chef David Chang of the Momofuku empire, and big-name investors, including Google Ventures, Bill Gates, and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing.

Impossible - Foods - Snag - Ingredient - Report

But Impossible Foods has hit an unexpected snag with a key ingredient, according to a new report from The New York Times.

In 2015, Impossible Foods sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its "secret sauce" — soy leghemoglobin — a molecule found in most living things that the company recreates in a lab. The FDA concluded there was insufficient evidence that it's safe for human consumption, according to documents released under a Freedom of Information request.

Statement - Business - Insider - Impossible - Foods

In a statement provided to Business Insider, Impossible Foods denounced the article.

"Impossible Foods has never 'faced problems with the FDA' and we've certainly never been in a 'debate' with the FDA. Rather, we have complied with all regulations and have had constructive sessions with the FDA, a guardian of food safety for the nation," a company spokesperson said.

Nature - Leghemoglobin - Breaks - Protein - Heme

In nature, soy leghemoglobin breaks down into a protein known as heme. It gives blood its color, turns meat pink, and lends the traditional, beef burger its slightly metallic flavor and delicious aroma when it's exposed to sugars and amino acids.

Impossible Foods whips up heme for its plant-based burgers in a lab. Scientists take the genetic code from the heme-rich nodules on soybean roots and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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