Impossible Foods makes meat directly from plants – with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The company uses modern science and technology to create wholesome and nutritious food, restore natural ecosystems and feed a growing population sustainably.
The Impossible Burger is made through a combination of plant-based ingredients. A key ingredient is “soy leghemoglobin.” Soy leghemoglobin is a protein that carries “heme,” an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant. Heme is the “magic ingredient” that enables the Impossible Burger to satisfy meat lovers’ cravings.
Before issuing its no-questions letter, the FDA reviewed comprehensive test data about soy leghemoglobin to assess its status as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.
In issuing the no-questions letter, the FDA also noted that soy leghemoglobin could be considered a “color additive” in some potential future applications. The FDA has a separate regulatory process to approve the use of color additives, and Impossible Foods is preparing to engage in that process to ensure it has maximum flexibility as its products and business continue to evolve.
To satisfy the global demand for meat at a fraction of the environmental impact, Impossible Foods developed a far more sustainable, scalable and affordable way to make heme and therefore meat, without the catastrophic environmental impact of livestock. The company genetically engineers and ferments yeast to produce a heme protein naturally found in plants, called soy leghemoglobin.