from the world's big
The ingredient that makes this meatless burger bleed is safe to eat, FDA rules
The announcement is a major victory for Impossible Foods, the San Francisco-based startup that makes Silicon Valley's favorite veggie burger.
The key ingredient that enables the popular plant-based Impossible Burger to brown and bleed like real meat has been ruled safe to eat by the FDA.
It's a major victory for Impossible Foods, the San Francisco-based startup that makes the burger. Impossible Foods, which touts the production process behind its vegetarian foods as more environmentally friendly those of meat products, has become wildly popular in recent years after scoring funding from Bill Gates and signing deals with restaurants worldwide.
But in 2017, the startup hit a setback after the FDA decided that there wasn't sufficient evidence to place soy leghemoglobin, the veggie burger's main ingredient, under the official category of “generally recognized as safe," or GRAS.
“Soy leghemoglobin is a protein that carries “heme," an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant," reads a press release about the announcement. “Heme is the “magic ingredient" that enables the Impossible Burger to satisfy meat lovers' cravings."
The FDA wasn't initially convinced that heme was safe for humans to eat, despite no evidence showing it's dangerous.
“Heme has been consumed by humans and other animals for a long time with no issues," Robert Kranz, a professor of biology at Washington State University in St. Louis who's studied heme, told Business Insider.
The 2017 denial came after Impossible Foods had voluntarily submitted to the agency its own data, including expert opinions and results of experiments conducted on mice, in an effort to win the GRAS status. Doing so wasn't necessary, but it would have been a bonus for the company, which has faced skeptics concerned about the safety of hemoglobin, as well as less reasonable fears about GMOs, since day one.
Shortly after being denied, the startup put together a new 1,063-page application for the FDA. On Monday, the agency essentially announced that the new application contained sufficient evidence showing that soy leghemoglobin is safe for humans to consume.
“We have no questions at this time regarding Impossible Foods' conclusion that soy leghemoglobin preparation is GRAS under its intended conditions of use to optimize flavor in ground beef analogue products intended to be cooked," the FDA stated.
Impossible Foods was pleased by the reversal of the agency's original decision.
“Getting a no-questions letter goes above and beyond our strict compliance to all federal food-safety regulations," said Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown, also Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University. “We have prioritized safety and transparency from day one, and they will always be core elements of our company culture."
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".