How are products like Impossible Burger made?
The technology used to make the Impossible Burger taste like meat is the same technology being used to make cow free milk, plant free cannabinoids, chicken free eggs and a whole host of novel protein compounds.
This technology is called cellular fermentation. It works by taking DNA molecules and inserting them into bacteria or yeast and fermenting the molecules. This process of inserting DNA into yeast is a form of genetic engineering that can yield proteins identical to the DNA of the starting material.
The opportunities with this technology are vast as they enable development of novel proteins and ingredients without the traditional inputs of agriculture like land, water and animals. This technology fosters ingredient innovation — we open up possibilities for marijuana plant medicine, synthesizing CBD & THC molecules with specialized medicinal properties. Companies are exploring diverse culinary applications: synthesizing plant proteins like soy leghemoglobin (Impossible Burger is the first use case for mass commercialization). Other companies are synthesizing animal proteins such as camel milk as cellular fermentation becomes a playground for scientists to experiment with previously obscure and extinct ingredients, fragrances and flavors.