Impossible Foods: Got Milk?

Overview CES® veteran Impossible Foods is expanding its technology platform to add milk and egg products to its offerings.

At CES® 2019, Impossible Foods — creator of fully plant-based meat products — debuted the Impossible Burger 2.0, handing out more than 12,000 sliders from their food truck at the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Plaza.

“CES is the ultimate world-class roster of disruptive tech,” said Rachel Konrad, chief communications officer at Impossible Foods. “And food is the ultimate technology: digestible tech. It is the marriage of science and nature, and that is what technology is all about.”

Recently, Impossible Foods announced that it plans to accelerate its next-generation product development, including steak, seafood, chicken, milk, eggs and more.

At the virtual news conference for the announcement, the Impossible Foods team demonstrated a plant-based milk prototype that functions as cow’s milk — able to be cooked, heated, frothed and used to produce cheese.

Why Milk?

“Impossible Foods fully intends to eliminate the need for animals in the food chain by 2035,” explained Keely Sulprizio, director of communications at Impossible Foods.

This goal means that the team must make a wide variety of products that consumers currently get from animals, including eggs and milk. Cow product production remains among the most environmentally destructive technologies on Earth, according to Impossible Foods Founder and CEO Pat Brown. To reduce reliance on cows and decrease related emissions, Impossible Foods says, we must reduce reliance on cow-derived products.

“You can think of eggs similarly:  [they] are an important part of the chicken production system,” Sulprizio said.

How Milk?

Though the specific ingredients and processes behind the prototypes are not released, the team said their technology platforms allow them to explore both plant-based and fermentation-based ingredients — like heme, the molecule that gives the Impossible Burger its meat-like flavor.

The technologies explored at Impossible Foods include:

  • Reverse engineering various food products.

  • Using microbiology and fermentation to make new proteins.

  • Leveraging sensory-analytical correlation to understand texture and flavor.

“Impossible Burger is the product of nearly a decade of basic science and hardcore R&D to understand the entire experience and science behind meat and how it tastes, cooks, sizzles and smells,” Sulprizio said. “Now, our scientists are developing a diverse array of innovative materials from plant-derived proteins to cover the spectrum of food textures and mechanical properties.”

Impossible Innovation

In addition to doubling its research and development team, Impossible Foods just launched the Impossible Investigator program. In this program, 10 new positions provide an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to advance food development. The new teams will focus on creating an entirely new technology platform to reach Impossible Foods’ goals.

Impossible Foods aims to accelerate product development with these new teams and make tangible, significant steps toward biodiversity resilience.

Learn more about Impossible Foods and its success at CES.

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