Maker of Faux Meat Named Startup To Watch by CNN

4 years 1 week 3 days ago Wednesday, August 07 2013 Aug 7, 2013 Wednesday, August 07, 2013 2:03:00 PM CDT August 07, 2013 in News
By: Taeler De Haes, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A Columbia business that makes faux meat is among the top 10 startup companies to keep and eye on over the next year, according to a new list by CNN.

The 10 companies were selected based on which ones are growing jobs, which ones are attracting money from investors and which ones seem most likely to impact innovative and digital culture.

The Columbia company's product looks, feels and tastes like chicken, but is made of vegetable protein.

Beyond Meat is attempting to create the most chicken-like non-animal food product on the market.

One year ago, Beyond Meat's Vice President of Operations, Bob Prusha, was the only employee in Columbia.

"We now have 33 full-time employees," he said. "Right now, we anticipate in the next three year period to add 100 jobs."

The company has another location in Los Angeles.

The food being created by Beyond Meat has been in development by the University of Missouri for over a decade. It was finalized in 2009.

Animal welfare is just one of the reasons Prusha thinks society should move away from eating animals. He said what might be the company's strongest selling point is the health benefit of a cleaner protein.

"I really believe in what vegetable proteins can bring to the world," he said. "Our product is more health-friendly, higher in protein, has no fats saturated fats and is GMO free."

For the same portion size, Prusha said, Beyond Meat's chicken has 20 percent more protein than real chicken.

He said the company gets financial support from Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone.

Beyond Meat's faux chicken strips have fooled many in blind taste tests, Prusha said.
The company uses plant protein from soy and peas and adds a combination of heating, cooling and pressure to realign it. That combination, Prusha said, creates a resemblance to meat.


"Our efforts are to replicate chicken exactly," Prusha said. "We don't just mean the flavor, it's the whole bite, tongue feel, experience that you might have. He said it can be cooked the same ways as chicken.

A Columbia barbecue joint started offering it on their catering menu several months ago. Smokin' Chick's BBQ owner Chick Orscheln said he had requests from vegetarian customers to offer some kind of meat substitutes.

"We can do whatever they want us to do with it," Orscheln said. "Before we offered this, vegetarians were limited to salads and macaroni and cheese."

Orscheln said he's working on adding the faux chicken to his full-time menu.

Fu-Hung Hsieh, an MU professor of biological engineering and food science, lead the project to create a low-cost soy substitute for chicken.

"I started this research over twenty years ago," said Hsieh, who is in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering.

His research has led to a process that does more than just add color and flavor to soy. Hsieh has developed a way to make the soy product simulate the fibrous texture of a chicken breast.

Prusha said the company is currently working on bringing its products to school cafeterias across the country.

The company is in the final stages of developing a crumbled, beef product.

"We're working on a taco flavor and an Italian flavor," Prusha said.

Consumers can find Beyond Meat's chicken products at select Whole Foods stores and in Columbia at Natural Grocers.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MarineParents.com, which is based in Columbia, helped grant a mother's wish for her fallen Marine, Cody Haley. 780... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:21:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of Missouri's right-to-work law are one step closer to having it delayed. A coalition of unions... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Hotels in Columbia are already over 95 percent full for the upcoming eclipse weekend. Megan McConachie, Strategic... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A man accused of providing the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer is facing... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:23:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It just got a lot easier to serve alcohol over the forthcoming eclipse weekend in Jefferson City.... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - A man was shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon,... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A toddler and mother were thrown from a car and two other people were hurt in a... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson says he's considering running for state auditor. Richardson told The... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:17:32 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Sen. Roy Blunt agreed with some of President Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Virginia and condemned white supremacists on... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her potential Republican rival Attorney General Josh Hawley are meeting at the... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:46:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri lawmaker who posted and later deleted a Facebook comment saying she hoped for... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
MARSHFIELD (AP) — A search warrant that has been unsealed recently gives details about what authorities are calling a murder-suicide... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:06:43 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police officers arrested one person and are looking for a second in connection with a home invasion... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:53:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that a suburban St. Louis police department... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:25:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 19-year-old man has been acquitted of killing and attempting to rob a suburban St. Louis... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:18:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - About 300 incoming freshmen at Lincoln University will be busy doing community service around town Thursday morning.... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:17:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally beating his uncle... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say one woman is dead and three men are hurt after people in a car... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:08:39 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
6am 62°
7am 62°
8am 67°
9am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill
6:30a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld