Impossible Foods ingredient deemed ‘safe to eat’ by FDA

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Impossible Foods' key ingredient soy leghemoglobin has been deemed safe to eat by the FDA
Impossible Foods' key ingredient soy leghemoglobin has been deemed safe to eat by the FDA
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that Impossible Foods’ key ingredient soy leghemoglobin is safe to consume, following an extensive review.

Impossible Foods received a “no questions​” letter from the FDA that concluded that its key ingredients to manufacture its plant-based protein products were compliant with food safety regulations.

The FDA reviewed comprehensive test data about soy leghemoglobin to assess its status as “generally recognised as safe” – otherwise known as GRAS.

As a standard process, the FDA posted a 1,066-page submission from Impossible Foods on its website for public review, which was assessed by FDA researchers.

Soy leghemoglobin, which carries the molecule heme, gives Impossible Foods’ plant-based protein products its meaty texture and taste.

Impossible Foods said the company has prioritised safety and transparency since it was founded in 2011, and its flagship product, The Impossible Burger, complied with all regulations before it became publicly available.

Since 2014, the company has had extensive testing by food safety experts on its soy leghemoglobin, as well as a rat feeding study, providing further scientific data that the ingredient was safe to eat, said the firm.

Getting a no-questions letter goes above and beyond our strict compliance to all federal food safety regulations​,” said Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown. “We have prioritised safety and transparency from day one, and they will always be core elements of our company culture​.”

The meat alternatives firm said scientists had previously questioned whether soy leghemoglobin would have “adverse effects​” for those who suffered from allergens.

However, they revealed a search of allergen databases found that soy leghemoglobin had a very low risk of allergenicity, and had shown no adverse effects in exhaustive testing.

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