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No cows were harmed in the making of this Impossible 'beef' sandwich, now serving in Singapore

SINGAPORE — The next time you bite into a sizzling Impossible Patty Melt sandwich at Park Bench Deli, you might be surprised to know that the “beef” patty you are eating is not real beef.

No cows were harmed in the making of this Impossible 'beef' sandwich, now serving in Singapore

American firm Impossible Foods said that there are plans to develop plant-based alternatives for other meats such as pork, chicken and even fish.

SINGAPORE — The next time you bite into a sizzling Impossible Patty Melt sandwich at Park Bench Deli, you might be surprised to know that the “beef” patty you are eating is not real beef.

Instead, it is a plant-based “beef” patty which owes its meaty flavour to heme, an iron-containing molecule found in living organisms.

It is produced by Impossible Foods, an American company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products.

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Apart from heme, other ingredients that make up the “beef” include coconut oil, potato protein and yeast extract. It also does not contain gluten, animal hormones or antibiotics, said Impossible Foods in a press release.

The company launched its plant-based meat in Singapore on Wednesday (March 6) by partnering with eight well-known restaurants — such as Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsey and Cut by Wolfgang Puck at Marina Bay Sands, Empress at the Asian Civilizations Museum, and Potato Head at Keong Saik Road.

These eight restaurants will serve iterations of their dishes containing the kosher and halal-certified “beef” from Impossible Foods.

One of the restaurants, Park Bench Deli on Telok Ayer Street, has replaced the patties used in one of its most popular dishes, the Patty Melt, with Impossible Foods’ version.

Mr Andrei Soen, 33, head chef at Park Bench Deli, said: “In terms of the cooking of the (Impossible Foods) patty itself, it cooks just like meat. It can even be charred, which makes it very viable.” 

The new sandwich is called the Impossible Patty Melt and it costs S$22, compared to S$17 for the original Patty Melt, which is no longer available.

Beyond the eight restaurants it is partnering with, Impossible Foods will be making its product available to eateries here via importer and distributor Classic Fine Foods.

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The company also plans to sell its plant-based beef patties in supermarkets here, said Dr Patrick Brown, 64, founder and chief executive officer of Impossible Foods.

While a recent study by researchers from the Oxford University concluded that meat grown from stem cells in a laboratory may worsen climate change in some circumstances, Dr Brown insisted that his company’s product was “fundamentally different”.

“There are no lab-grown meat products that are commercially available, and we are still years away from that,” he said. “In any case, the price of lab-grown meat will be so high that the average consumer will not be able to afford it. So I don’t see any competition from that area.”

Impossible Foods' product is produced at a fraction of the land, water and energy that is used to produce meat from traditional livestock, he added.

Dr Brown said that his company is also exploring plant-based substitutes for other meats such as pork, chicken and even fish.

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