The Impossible Burger can now be sold at retail, following FDA’s approval of color additive

August 7, 2019

Prior to FDA's amended color additive regulation, soy leghemoglobin, used in the Impossible Burger for meat-like taste, texture, and aroma was only approved in products sold to consumers in cooked form, meaning that Impossible Burger was only available in participating food service locations. 

The Impossible Burger, a plant-based meat alternative, may be coming to grocery store shelves, after FDA amended its color additive regulations to provide for the safe use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in uncooked “ground beef analogue products.” Prior to this, soy leghemoglobin, which lends the Impossible Burger its meat-like aroma, taste, texture, and “bleed,” was only approved for use in products if it was sold to consumers in cooked form. The product has been advertised by a number of fast food restaurants, such as White Castle and Burger King, for example. Now that the color additive can be used in uncooked format, Impossible Burgers have the go-ahead to be sold directly to consumers in grocery stores.

Due to its growing popularity, there was a months-long shortage of the Impossible Burger at participating food-service locations. As a result, Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley, CA-based producer of the burger, has signed a deal with OSI Group, a global food manufacturer, to expand production. OSI will begin making the Impossible Burger starting next month, and has added short-term capacity to Impossible Foods’ Oakland, CA factory.