Impossible Foods attracts $75m investment for meatless burgers

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 2, 2017

Silicon Valley start-up Impossible Foods has closed a $75 million investment thanks to funding from Bill Gates, Singapore company Temasek and Open Philanthropy Project. The US firm located in Redcwood City, California, produces meat from plants using "modern science and technology to create wholesome food, restore natural ecosystems and feed a growing population sustainably", according to a statement.

Flagship product the Impossible Burger uses a key protein called soy leghaemoglobin, which recently passed several food safety tests with flying colours and won the company a patent to use the ingredient in plant-based meats.

"To satisfy global demand for meat at a fraction of the environmental impact, Impossible Foods discovered a scalable, affordable way to make heme without animals. Soy leghemoglobin is a protein that carries "heme", an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant".

The company claims that the heme in its burgers is identical to the heme humans consume in meat, and while it delivers "all the craveable depth of beef", it uses far fewer resources. The burger is also produced without growth-enhancers, antibiotics or artificial flavours.

Earlier this month, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent No. 9,700,067 covering Impossible Foods' technology to use leghemoglobin in plant-based meat. "It turns out that finding a sustainable way to make massive amounts of heme from plants is a critical step in solving the world's greatest environmental threat".

The 200-person startup has more than 100 additional patents pending.

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