Chicken nuggets are barely a meat, so it shouldn’t be too hard to recreate a plant version, right? Impossible Foods, the folks behind the Impossible Burger, seems to think that it’s rather… well, possible. Which is why the company that specialises in making meat out of things that aren’t meat is releasing its version of one later this year.
It’s not the first company to eye this food group appreciated mostly by small children and other groups we’re not about to mention. A couple of years ago, Beyond Meat (the other major company making artificial flesh for human consumption) tested out fake chicken nuggets at a KFC in Atlanta in the States. A variant of it has since launched in America so it’s time for the competition to start.
But this isn’t Impossible performing a trial run. Fake chicken nuggets will first turn up in restaurants — presumably to get people used to the idea — before landing in retail in the States. The nuggets will consist of “textured soy protein and sunflower oil to replicate the bite and fatty mouthfeel of nuggets”, according to Bloomberg. Missing in action is heme, an ingredient that is used to give Impossible’s burgers their texture — because it’s genetically modified, products containing it can’t be sold in China or Europe, and the company really wants everyone eating these nuggets. So it’s opted to leave it out.
“In prototypes, we did include a small amount of heme and tested without,” said Impossible’s flavour scientist Laura Kliman. “We found in a nugget format, which is breaded and has some seasoning, it really wasn’t that necessary.” Which is good, right?