Maker of Faux Meat Named Startup To Watch by CNN

5 years 1 month 2 weeks 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 - One person died and another was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning. Police said Perri A.... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:57:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball forward Mitchell Smith was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with a DWI. Smith was... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in Sports
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2012 police chase... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:27:14 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – About one in 10 children are subject to sexual abuse, according to a local expert on the subject.... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:18:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A water main break in MU's Hearnes Center early Saturday morning caused at least $100,000 worth of damage,... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department responded to shots fired at a McDonald's located at 303 S. Business 54 early... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a past sexual assault,... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested five people Friday morning during a narcotics search at a residence in... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 4:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FESTUS (AP) — A man and his adult son were killed when their small plane crashed near... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU partnered with two local groups to host a Chinese Moon Festival Saturday night at Twin Lake Recreational... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:02:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — President Trump held a campaign-style rally in Springfield Friday. Trump spoke in front of an at-capacity crowd... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:15:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 46-year-old woman who set a fire that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Emissions near a troubled St. Louis County landfill once posed health concerns for workers and nearby... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:02:52 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Missouri Southern State University has abandoned plans for a dental school that would've operated in partnership with... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:51:59 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some St. Louis police officers are still struggling with injuries more than a year after protesters... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:44:27 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police said a fifth arrest has been made in connection with an alleged homicide on Sylvan Lane... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police arrested a man early Friday after reportedly finding him outside an apartment complex, looking into a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:27:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Friday to allow the Clean Missouri Initiative to stay... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
1pm 75°
2pm 77°
3pm 78°
4pm 78°