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Impossible Foods: Changing the Meat Industry

Plant-based meats have been gaining popularity, and Impossible Foods is at the forefront of this food revolution.
March 28, 2023

In this article, we will explore how Impossible Foods creates its meat. That includes the nutritional and environmental comparisons to real meat, the impact on carbon dioxide emissions, and the industry outlook on plant-based meat alternatives.

The Science Behind Impossible Foods

How Impossible Meat is Made

Impossible Foods has developed a proprietary process that involves using plant-based ingredients to mimic the taste, texture, and aroma of traditional meat. The key components of their meat alternative are soy protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and their secret ingredient, heme.

The Role of Heme

Heme is a molecule found in both plants and animals that carries oxygen in the bloodstream. In the case of Impossible Foods, they extract heme from soy plants, specifically from the leghemoglobin protein. This plant-based heme gives the Impossible Burger its characteristic meaty flavor, and it is responsible for the red, juicy appearance that resembles real meat.

Comparing Impossible Meat to Real Meat

Taste and Texture

Many consumers have found the taste and texture of Impossible Meat to be impressively similar to that of real meat. The company has perfected its recipe over time, focusing on creating a product that closely mimics the experience of eating traditional meat. This has made it a popular choice for both vegetarians and meat-eaters looking to reduce their meat consumption.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutrition, Impossible Meat is comparable to real meat in many aspects. It is high in protein, with a 4-ounce serving containing approximately 19 grams of protein. Additionally, it is an excellent source of iron and contains no cholesterol. However, it is important to note that the saturated fat content in

Impossible Meat is higher than that in some cuts of real meat, mainly due to the coconut oil used in its production.

Environmental Impact

One of the primary motivations behind the development of plant-based meat alternatives like Impossible Meat is the reduction of the environmental impact associated with traditional meat production. Livestock farming contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By choosing plant-based options, consumers can help minimize these negative impacts on the environment.

The Carbon Footprint of Plant-Based Meat

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Impossible Foods claims that their product generates 87% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional beef. This is a substantial reduction, considering that the livestock industry is responsible for nearly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Land and Water Use

Producing Impossible Meat requires significantly less land and water than traditional meat production. According to the company, their plant-based meat uses 96% less land and 92% less water than beef. This is a major advantage in terms of sustainability, as agriculture is one of the leading causes of deforestation and water scarcity worldwide.

Competitors in the Plant-Based Meat Market

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat is another major player in the plant-based meat industry. Their products, such as the Beyond Burger, use pea protein as the primary ingredient and are widely available in grocery stores and restaurants. Like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat aims to create a product that closely resembles the taste and texture of real meat.

Lightlife Foods

Lightlife Foods is another competitor in the plant-based meat market. They offer a range of meat alternatives made from pea protein, including burgers, sausages, and ground “meat.” While not as well-known as Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, Lightlife has been in the plant-based food industry for over 40 years, and their products are widely available in grocery stores across North America.

Outlook for the Future

As concerns over the environmental impact of meat consumption continue to grow, the plant-based meat industry is expected to see significant growth in the coming years. According to a report by Barclays, the global market for plant-based meat could reach $140 billion by 2030, up from just $14 billion in 2019. However, some experts caution that there may be challenges ahead, such as scaling up production to meet demand and ensuring that plant-based meat is accessible and affordable for all consumers.

Impossible Foods Stock Price and Valuation

The company has received significant investment from venture capital firms such as Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, and Temasek, among others. In its most recent funding round in March 2021, the company raised $500 million, valuing it at $4 billion. This represented a significant increase in valuation from its previous funding round in 2020, which valued the company at $2 billion. Despite not being publicly traded, Impossible Foods’ impressive valuation growth and investor support suggest that it is well-positioned to continue to disrupt the traditional meat industry with its plant-based products.


Impossible Foods has revolutionized the plant-based meat industry with its innovative approach to replicating the taste and texture of real meat using plant-based ingredients. Their products offer a number of health and environmental benefits and have helped to popularize the idea of plant-based meat among consumers. As more companies enter the market and demand for plant-based meat grows, it will be interesting to see how the industry develops and how consumers continue to embrace these alternatives.

Interested in discovering more innovative companies and cutting-edge technologies? Check out our other articles on Zorion for the latest insights and analysis on the world’s most exciting tech trends!


  1. Are Impossible Foods’ products vegan-friendly?

Yes, all of Impossible Foods’ products are vegan and contain no animal products.

  1. Is it safe to consume genetically modified ingredients in Impossible Foods’ meat?

According to the company and various studies, the genetically modified ingredients used in Impossible Foods’ products are safe for human consumption.

  1. How do the environmental impacts of plant-based meat compare to those of traditional meat?

Compared to traditional meat, plant-based meat requires significantly less land, water, and produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Can plant-based meat offer the same nutritional benefits as real meat?

Plant-based meat can provide a similar source of protein, iron, and other nutrients as traditional meat, but without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in animal products.

  1. What are some of the challenges facing the plant-based meat industry?

Some of the challenges facing the plant-based meat industry include scaling up production to meet demand, ensuring affordability for all consumers, and overcoming resistance from those who are skeptical about the taste and texture of plant-based meat.

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