An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Science: During a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods showed off its new plant-based ground beef replacement by offering a selection of foods from traditional sliders to the ambitious tartare. Thanks to a change in formula, the new Impossible Burger 2.0 goes beyond simple patties and aims to take on ground beef with every recipe, from lasagna to tacos. The first tastes are very promising. Back in 2016, the original Impossible Burger debuted as a veggie burger that could almost pass as beef. Its meaty secret was a molecule called heme, which contains iron and is largely responsible for the flavors we associate with cooked flesh. But, according to Impossible CEO Pat Brown, it requires a protein to bind it. The original Impossible Burger used wheat protein, which worked, but had some drawbacks. First, it meant the Impossible Burger wasn’t gluten-free, but it also put some limitations on the meat’s form factor. The wheat worked for burger patties that stayed in a relatively static shape, but it couldn’t crumble or take on other shapes — like meatballs — without losing its integrity. The solution was a switch to soy.
The resulting Impossible Burger 2.0 product has 14 grams of fat and 240 calories in a single quarter-pound serving (whether it’s a patty, ball, or glob of tartare). Impossible also claims that the Burger 2.0 has the same amount of bioavailable iron and protein as its cow-derived cousin. According to Brown, the levels of amino acids are “at least on-par” with typical ground beef and, in some cases, exceed what real meat can offer. As for taste, Popular Science’s Stan Horaczek says “it works best as a burger with a thin patty so you don’t get a whole mouthful of soy at once, but once you introduce a bun and some toppings, you might not even notice the differences with real beef.” The Impossible Burger 2.0 will be served at a few restaurants starting this week, with a wider roll out starting on February 8 when it will be available to all U.S. restaurants through food distributors. It’s also planning to have its products in some U.S. supermarkets by later this year.
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