O’Brian: What Makes the Impossible Burger Look and Taste Like Real Beef?

Updated May 15, 2019

An article by Mark R. O’Brian, PhD, professor and chair of biochemistry, looks at leghemoglobin, the ingredient that makes the plant-based Impossible Burger look and taste like real beef. “The commercialization of leghemoglobin represents an unanticipated consequence of inquiry into an interesting biological phenomenon. The benefits of scientific research are often unforeseen at the time of their discovery. Whether or not the Impossible Burger venture succeeds on a large scale remains to be seen, but surely food technology will continue to evolve to accommodate human needs as it has since the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago,” he writes.