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Synthetic Biology Technology

Burger King launches ‘Impossible Whopper’ burger made with GM yeast.

“The limited-time offer makes Burger King restaurants the first coast-to-coast quick-service restaurant to serve the award-winning, plant-based meat from food startup Impossible Foods.”

US fast food chain Burger King is trialling a plant-based meat-free version of its famous Whopper burger. It will roll out the new Impossible Whopper at 59 restaurants in St Louis, US.

The meatless burger, developed with Impossible Foods, a California-based company that makes plant-based substitutes, is designed to “bleed” like a conventional burger, and uses genetically modified yeast to produce heme, a protein that mimics the flavour of meat. Impossible Foods is the maker of the meatless burger, normally known as the ‘Impossible Burger’.

Since it’s made from plants, it has a much smaller environmental footprint than its classic beef counterpart, according Impossible Foods.

The firm’s main aim is to use biology to change consumer’s preference for beef. In a statement, Impossible Foods said: “Animal agriculture uses a tremendous amount of the world’s natural resources: it’s responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, consumes 25% of the world’s fresh water, and occupies nearly half of the world’s land.”

In a statement, Burger King said: “Starting today, 59 exclusive Burger King restaurants in and around St. Louis will be testing the Impossible Whooper– a flame-grilled, plant-based patty topped with freshly sliced tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, and sliced white onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.

“The limited-time offer makes Burger King restaurants the first coast-to-coast quick-service restaurant to serve the award-winning, plant-based meat from food startup Impossible Foods, maker of the Impossible Burger.”

Many biotechnology experts have given praise to the Impossible Burger. Speaking to Bio Market Insights in March, Matthew McKnight, chief commercial officer at US biotechnology firm Ginkgo Bioworks, said his favourite bio-based product was an Impossible Burger, adding: “They are using biology to achieve the big hairy goal of fundamentally changing consumer preferences to do right by the planet, and they’re showing you can do it without compromising what consumers really want – a great tasting burger experience.”


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