VEGETARIANISM

The veggie burger that looks and tastes like meat

Impossible Foods' product indistinguishable from the real thing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 November, 2014, 11:13am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 November, 2014, 6:23pm

It sounds like a bit of marketing flimflam: a meatless burger that tastes and oozes “meat” juices like minced beef. But that’s exactly what tycoon Li Ka-shing got a bite of on Friday from Impossible Foods, the California-based start-up which created the burger.

Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown served Li the burger at a private tasting session just before flying to Beijing for a conference on food and sustanability. Li is keen to see the product succeed; Horizon Ventures, the venture capital fund controlled by his Li Ka-shing Foundation, has a stake in the American company.

Although it is entirely plant-based, the imitation burger was indistinguishable from the real thing: it tasted just like a regular meat patty, as selected media found at a tasting on Monday. Not only did the patty have same chewy texture, it reacted the same way as meat when it was cooking: browning and releasing plant fats.

Inspired by Brown’s invention, Li announced yesterday a scheme to subsidise 100 local university, secondary students and teachers to attend workshops on creativity and technological development organised by the Israel Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv.

To find out more about how Brown, a molecular biologist at Stanford University, embarked on his quest to create a hi-tech meat substitute, look out for our story in the Life section on Friday.