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Plant-based burger debuts at White Castle

The Impossible Slider will make its fast-food debut today at White Castle in 140 locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Chicagoland.

The award-winning burger from Impossible Foods will provide an all-new plant-based option for White Castle’s loyal fans.WC-Impossible green

“White Castle’s model has been often imitated but never duplicated — an impressive feat in the hypercompetitive fast-food sector,” said Impossible Foods’ founder and Chief Executive Officer Patrick O. Brown. “We look forward to working closely with White Castle, and together learning how to popularize plant-based meat with mainstream burger lovers, traditional and vegetarian alike.”

“Innovation has been core to everything we’ve done at White Castle since our founding in 1921,” said CEO Lisa Ingram, the fourth-generation family member to lead White Castle. “The fact that we are the first-fast food chain to offer the Impossible Burger to our loyal customers epitomizes our history of being on the ‘bleeding edge’ of a rapidly evolving industry.”

In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger debuted in July 2016 at Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in Manhattan. The Impossible Burger is the only plant-based burger to win a 2017 Tasty Award and a 2018 Fabi Award from the National Restaurant Association.

The burger is made from simple ingredients, including water, wheat protein, potato protein and coconut oil. One special ingredient — heme — contributes to the characteristic taste of meat and catalyzes all the other flavors when meat is cooked.

Impossible Foods discovered a scalable, affordable way to make heme without animals: the company engineers and ferments yeast to produce a heme protein naturally found in plants, called soy leghemoglobin. The heme in the Impossible Burger is identical to the essential heme humans have been consuming for hundreds of thousands of years in meat — and while it delivers all the craveable depth of beef, it uses far fewer resources.

Impossible Foods launched production in September at its first large-scale manufacturing plant, in Oakland, CA. With demand still outstripping supply, the company plans to add a second shift and double production in the coming months. Later this month, Impossible Foods will launch in Asia — its first market outside the United States.

White Castle will be testing the Impossible Slider with plans to potentially expand its offering nationwide.