Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown used ingredients including coconut oil, cacao and apple extract to create a vegan burger pattie that's as close to animal meat as possible.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on June 14, 2019

Beyond Meat has launched a new “even meatier” version of its famous plant-based Beyond Burger pattie.

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said it replaces a burger that wasn’t “exactly like meat and that really bothers us”.

“We are on this mission to build a perfect piece of meat and that product is imperfect. There are things about it that aren’t exactly like meat and that really bothers us,” Brown told the Verge about the former Beyond Meat pattie.

“This is crazy for me to be saying this…I don’t like the aroma as much as I should. It’s close to animal protein in certain ways. There’s well over a thousand molecules that make meat taste and have that smell that we’re so accustomed to,” said Brown.

“And what we’re doing is we’re isolating those molecules literally from meat and then we’re characterising them. We’re trying to match them with molecules and plants that will deliver the same experience to our human century system. We’re getting closer but we’re not yet landing right on the target. I think the one that we have today that’s going to be released in the (US) summer is closer.

“Second is the way it transitions in colour. It’s still too red when it’s been cooked. And that’s one hand that’s consumers get used to and they’re fine with it. But the reason it bothers me is because people take it home for the first time they might try to cook that colour out because that’s what they’re used to doing with animal protein. And so we need to make that colour transition better,” Brown explains.

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“Lastly, the distribution of fat. I really want the fat to distribute in a way that doesn’t muscle. And we’re still working on that distribution muscle into pockets and it’s sort of interwoven in a way that’s really really nuanced and gives you that burst of fat when you bite into a piece of meat protein. We need to get better at that.

“And I think the product we’re releasing is getting closer. The new burger uses coconut oil and cocoa to imitate the look and taste of “marbling,” the white, fatty specks you get in meat that contribute to its rich flavour. The burger also new uses apple extract so that it browns more as it’s cooking.”

Beyond Meat Sausage

Beyond Meat‘s new Beyond Burger pattie contains the same 20 grams of protein as before, and the Los Angeles-based company claims its pea, mung bean, and rice protein combination means that it’s now a source of complete protein, containing the nine amino acids necessary in a human diet. Beyond Meat’s products – patties, sausages and mince – are all vegan.

Beyond Meat was founded in 2009. Since going public in early May, Beyond’s stock has soared nearly 470 per cent, giving the company, which admits it has never made a profit, a market value of about US$8.5 billion.