Impossible's plant-based pork is the second launch from the firm © Impossible Foods
Impossible's plant-based pork is the second launch from the firm © Impossible Foods

Impossible launches plant-based pork

8 January 2020

A plant-based alternative to pork and sausage has been unveiled by Impossible Foods. 

The plant-based pork and sausage was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 

The “meat alternatives” have been created by genetically engineering and fermenting yeast to produce heme – a molecule found in all plants and animals which contains iron to replicate the taste of meat. 

They have been produced without animal hormones or antibiotics, and are eligible for kosher and halal certification, the firm said. 

Pork is the world’s most widely-eaten animal, accounting for 38% of meat production worldwide. Up to half of the world’s pork is eaten in China.

Industrial pork production comes at a high environmental cost, such as depletion of natural resources and increased greenhouse gas emissions, Impossible said. 

“We’re accelerating the expansion of our product portfolio to more of the world’s favourite foods,” said Impossible Foods’ CEO and founder Patrick Brown.

“We won’t stop until we eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable.”

The plant-based pork and sausage are the firm’s first new products since it launched the Impossible burger in 2016 which mimics the taste and texture of ground beef.

Impossible’s plant-based sausage will be trialled at 139 Burger King restaurants in the US as part of a new breakfast sandwich, the “Impossible Croissan’wich”. 

Impossible’s launch comes as a number of fast-food retailers have launched vegan alternatives to products including KFC UK’s vegan fillet burger and Greggs’ vegan steak bake.

Meanwhile, Restaurant Brands Internation (RBI), the parent company of Burger King and Popeyes, and chicken producer Tyson Foods have joined the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS).

The RTRS is an organisation that promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy with members representing all parts of the soy value chain.

As part of its commitment to the RTRS, Tyson plans to enhance the sustainability of its animal feed supply chain, said Maggie Jo Hansen, senior commodity analyst, international and sustainability at Tyson Foods.

“We will acquire RTRS certified material for the soybean meal used to feed chickens in our supply chain, which generally comes from areas identified as ‘high risk’. In addition, we hope to identify other opportunities to work with RTRS in order to guarantee sustainable soy practices,” she said. 

Natalie Pecile, sustainability manager at RBI said: “RBI made a commitment to eliminating deforestation from its global supply chain by 2030 and much remains to be done with many of our suppliers. We decided to join RTRS in order to understand which is the best way to turn commitments into action.”

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