Impossible Burger 'bleeding' veggie meat found safe to eat by FDA

Impossible Foods, the company behind the realistic meat-free "bleeding" Impossible Burger, has announced FDA recognition of its safety. The company's meat products are produced entirely with plants, its Impossible Burger the most eye-catching — it can "bleed" like real meat, satisfying those cravings you may otherwise get during the veggie burger transition.

The Impossible Burger sounded, well, impossible the first time the company described it. Unlike existing veggie burger 'meats,' Impossible Foods' own product looks and tastes similar to actual ground beef, producing realistic cruelty-free, plant-based hamburgers. Key to the company's unique product is its equally unique recipe.

According to the company, it uses an ingredient called soy leghemoglobin, a protein with the iron-containing molecule heme, which adds that realistic appearance. The public raised questions over the use of this ingredient and whether it is safe to consume; the FDA ultimately stepped in to answer those questions.

The agency took comments from food safety professionals and looked over "comprehensive test data" related to the ingredients. Impossible Foods also contributed a massive 1,066-page submission of its own to the investigation. All of that has led up today's letter from the FDA: it has no questions to ask and considers the ingredient "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)."

In its letter to Impossible Foods, the FDA concluded:

Based on the information that Impossible Foods provided, as well as other information available to FDA, 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.

SOURCE: Impossible Foods