In California, Impossible Foods closed a $75 million investment round after achieving significant milestones in intellectual property and food safety. The Singapore-based investment company Temasek led the round that was joined by other investors including Open Philanthropy Project and Bill Gates.
A key ingredient of the Impossible Burger – the company’s flagship product – is soy leghemoglobin, a protein that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant. “Our scientists spent so much time and effort studying a single molecule – heme – because heme is what makes meat taste like meat,” said Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a patent covering Impossible Foods’ technology to use leghemoglobin in plant-based meat. Earlier, in 2014, a panel of leading food safety experts gave the opinion that soy leghemoglobin is generally recognized as safe for consumption under U.S. regulations.