B2 High-Intermediate US 14963 Folder Collection
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One of these is not a hamburger.
This one was created in a lab.
It's called the Impossible Burger, and it's 100% made from plants.
But unlike your typical veggie burger,
this is bloody and red, and it cooks and tastes like an actual beef patty.
And several US chefs have already put it on their menus.
But the big difference between this and a veggie burger:
scientists made it using neuroscience.
They started with one pretty profound question.
What makes meat, meat?
Celeste Holz-Schietinger is a flavor scientist.
How do you get your brain to actually eat a food and say "yum,"
and associate it with actually eating meat, even though this actually hasn't come from an animal.
This is crucial.
The Impossible Burger scientists aren't just making a vegetarian patty that you can eat instead of a burger.
They want the Impossible Burger to be the same exact experience as eating a beef burger.
Richard Brown is a neuroscientist at Impossible Foods.
A hamburger will send all sorts of information to our sensory organs,
your ears, nose, your eyes, and tongue.
It's only when those sensory organs send information to the brain,
and they get integrated that we can ever become aware of the fact that we're experiencing "hamburger".
The goal is to create that same sensory experience,
so the brain can't tell the difference,
which takes us back to this question:
"What makes meat, meat?"
To answer that, scientists here are literally breaking down a beef patty molecule by molecule.
And there are trillions of them.
This machine isolates every single aroma molecule in a burger.
Flavor scientists sit here, sniff, and then jot down what they smell.
Celeste: Floral rose,
apricot,
foot,
cheesy,
macaroni and cheese,
old people,
crackers,
some rotting garbage, something you don't want.
But at the right combination, that gives you the experience,
and send a signal to your brain to say, "Yes, I'm eating meat, and mmm, this is tasty."
And one molecule is essential to that flavor.
It's called "heme," and it looks and tastes like blood.
In cows, that's the catalyst, the driver for all of the aroma compounds that make meat.
It's also responsible for the color.
It is bright red in color, and upon cooking, it turns brown.
Turns out, you can extract heme from soy plants.
Over five years, scientists honed in on other natural ingredients that create the same sensory experience as a hamburger,
like wheat proteins for the fleshy texture of beef,
potato proteins for a crispy exterior when seared,
yam and xanthan gums to hold the ingredients together,
and flakes of coconut oil that melt on a grill, then sizzle like beef fat.
When you mix those together, it looks and feels like raw beef,
and that's when a sensory experience starts to kick in.
This is the moment when scientists hope the brain won't be able to tell the difference between a beef burger and the Impossible Burger.
The Impossible Food scientists are are still tweaking that sensory experience, trying to make a better burger.
Their goal is to supply 1,000 restaurants by the end of this year.
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The science behind the Impossible Burger

14963 Folder Collection
Crystal Wu published on September 11, 2017    Crystal Wu translated    Samuel reviewed
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