JMarshall writes: Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley food start-up started by a Stanford professor who quit his job, just raised $108 million to pursue a plant-based burger that truly tastes like meat. This ACS article explains how Impossible Foods and other startups and researchers are tackling the tricky chemical and engineering challenge of making fake meat that tastes real. "Meat flavors and aromas come from thousands of volatile small molecules released by muscle and fat cell destruction. Flavor precursors start with an animal’s diet, which influences the molecular composition of its cells. After slaughter, enzymes in an animal’s muscle cells begin breaking down biomolecules into simpler amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids. This means some flavor molecules develop even as the meat ages during its trip to the store. Other flavor and aroma components emerge from reactions between sugars, amino acids, or fatty acids as the meat is cooked."
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