A Brand New Burger

Tastes like meat, made from plants

Companies across the United States are hoping they can get carnivores to fall in love with their environmentally friendly plant burgers. High meat demand is putting a strain on natural resources and contributing to greenhouse gases. To succeed, they’re using sophisticated chemistry to analyze every aspect of a burger experience, even identifying individual smells and tastes. One company honed in on heme, the compound in blood that makes it red. Heme contributes to both the color and taste of a typical burger – and it also happens to occur in legumes. Another company’s burgers bleed beet juice.

And to emulate the dripping fat when a burger starts sizzling? Flecks of coconut oil mixed in with the “meat.”

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