Maker of Faux Meat Named Startup To Watch by CNN

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago August 07, 2013 Aug 7, 2013 Wednesday, August 07 2013 Wednesday, August 07, 2013 2:03:00 PM CDT 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 - Columbia College will be giving high school students a chance to earn college credits. The two dual credit... More >>
1 hour ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrated the graduation of 27 troopers in Jefferson City on Friday morning. ... More >>
1 hour ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A man was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force... More >>
2 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Four summer interns work with the city of Columbia to rate the conditions of roads and determine which... More >>
2 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:33:45 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash north of Tipton on Wednesday. According... More >>
3 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday night at Cirilla's on Bukner Street. According to investigators,... More >>
6 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 9:22:00 AM CDT in News
NEVADA (AP) — Authorities say a western Missouri deputy has shot and killed a driver after a pursuit ended with... More >>
7 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 8:33:11 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - The Boonville Heritage Days is going on this weekend with the same carnival operator it's had for the... More >>
7 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 8:10:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been killed in a St. Louis house fire. KSDK-TV reports... More >>
9 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 6:36:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — UPDATE: The University of Missouri Board of Curators Friday rescinded Bill Cosby's honorary degree in humane letters,... More >>
9 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 6:11:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens said he prefers a ramped-up House version of a bill to... More >>
20 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 7:04:56 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Some Missouri citizens will be affected by a change coming to the Missouri Rx program. On July... More >>
20 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 6:59:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Members from Crockett Enginerring Consultants and neighhbors from the Villas at Vintage Falls learned that one rezoning plan... More >>
21 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 6:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri circuit judge said Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office wrote a confusing and... More >>
21 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 5:54:06 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former Kansas City physician was sentenced to one year and three months in federal prison... More >>
22 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 5:18:30 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri has announced a housing program that would allow guests to rent out rooms in... More >>
22 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 4:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Southern Boone School District leaders are trying to crack down on outstanding lunch debts. The school board will... More >>
1 day ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 3:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – MU curators are concerned about finances for plant facility growth. The UM Board of Curators met on... More >>
1 day ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
4pm 82°
5pm 81°
6pm 80°
7pm 79°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Originals
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld