Plant-based burgers has taken the world by storm, with one particular company pioneering the movement of burgers that “taste just like real meat”. The general consensus is that The Impossible Burger has certainly lived up to it’s namesake and done the impossible – created a veggie burger that looks, feels and tastes like real beef.
What is the impossble burger?
The impossible burger is made from plant based ingredients which combined with a little bit of science magically make these plants taste just like meat. The top ingredients are soy protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil and a wide range of natural flavorings.
So, we’ve seen soy burgers before and lets be honest, it’s a poor imitation of beef at best. So what makes this burger different? Heme is the key ingredient here which makes the impossible burger so impossible.
Heme is a compound found most commonly in animal flesh and is responsible for a large number of chemical reactions which occur during the cooking of a burger. The key difference in this burger is that the heme used is extracted from soy plants and then genetically engineered to provide the taste and even the “bleeding” that comes with real meat.
Impossible Burger Ingredients
Look at the packaging of an impossible burger and you’ll find a large and confusing list of ingredients with the chief ingredient being soy. You can find the full ingredient list below.
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
Is It Healthy?
Is the impossible burger healthy? The main ingredient, soy protein concentrate is a heavily processed form of raw soy. Raw soybeans are very healthy with a myriad of beneficial vitamins and minerals contained within them. Most of these nutrients are lost during the processing to soy protein concentrate. Although, Impossible Foods do fortify their “meat” with vitamins and minerals to account for those lost during processing.
Most people are going to be focused on the calories and the impossible burger clocks in at just under 300 calories with 20g of protein and 14g of fat. This is pretty much comparable with any beef burger of a similar size.
While the impossible burger can hardly be considered a health food, neither can it’s meaty counterpart and I see no reason why it cant be a part of a healthy plant based diet on occasion.