Delving into the “Meat” of Alternative Meat
By: Beau Horner, Associate Project Manager
Following David Nickelson’s article on September 24th “An Impossible Order - 30 Sliders, 5 Fries, and 4 Large Cherry Cokes”, I decided to do a bit of snooping around to get a look at Impossible Food’s patents concerning their “Impossible Meat”.
What I came up with was (their active patents) US10,039,306 B2, US9808029B2, US9700067B2, US9943096B2, US9826772B2, US9737875B2, and US9833768B2. These, as well as Impossible Food’s pending applications generally claim plant-based meat compounds, methods for producing said meat, as well as methods for isolating certain protein molecules/flavorings to use in a plant-based burger.
Considering all of the plant-loving individuals, it seems like a favorable space to endeavor. Getting a bit more technical, the claims from the patents as well as the pending applications seem to give Impossible Food quite an edge in the “transformed food” space.
For comparison, a popular direct competitor, Beyond Meat, produces a very similar plant-based meat and had also filed patent applications for plant-based meats. They have filed a smaller amount of patent applications in the U.S. (five) around the same time as Impossible Meat and have not yet had any success with getting a patent issued (possibly due to the stranglehold of Impossible Meat’s intellectual property).
So, for now at least, it seems like Impossible Meat will reign supreme in this IP space.
Moving on to the ingredients of Impossible Meat, the premise is that plants are much better for you than meat and don’t give your body as many problems when it comes to certain cancers, diseases, etc. But in fact, recent studies have shown that meat, minus artificial additives and preservatives and cooked the proper way, is very healthy for you and does not have the aforementioned negative side effects.
So I would challenge one of the two companies above to pull a wild card and attempt to create the opposite of what they are known for: create a plant/vegetable product made out of meat/meat proteins. Not only would you be getting very important protein as well as vitamins and minerals that don’t exist in a plant based diet, but you would also be getting a product that could potentially be very minimal in carbs, which can translate into less inflammation in the body and less instigation of certain diseases.
What are your thoughts on the plant-based meat trend? What “transformed” food, if any, would you like to see released. Just a note, Impossible Meat is producing plant-based cheeses as well!