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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.

One of these is not a hamburger.

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B2 US burger beef sensory meat impossible hamburger

The science behind the Impossible Burger

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    Crystal Wu posted on 2017/08/23
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