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Got plant? The makers of the Impossible Burger are working on plant-based milk

The meat-free Impossible Burger has gone from “impossible” to “frankly, pretty commonplace” within an impressively short period of time. Perhaps looking for its next big sci-fi challenge, Impossible Foods announced Tuesday that it is moving beyond plant-based meat and into another animal product in the form of plant-based milk.

“The plant-based alternatives that are out there are inadequate,” Impossible CEO Pat Brown said. “The reality is that if they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a dairy market.”

While Impossible Milk is still in the research and development phase and not yet available commercially, the company showed off samples of the new milk-inspired foodstuff (err, drinkstuff) during a demonstration from its food lab; showcasing a plant-based milk alternative that appears far more creamy and milklike than current milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and assorted others. It also will not curdle when it comes into contact with hot beverages, as shown by the researcher carrying out the demo by mixing it with hot coffee.

If Impossible Milk can successfully deliver on its promise, this could be a game-changer for those who do not want to consume animal products for reasons that range from ethical to planet-saving. It would also be a sizable step toward Impossible’s (may not so impossible) goal of eliminating animal agriculture. At present, this contributes some 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions, as per the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

During today’s call, Impossible also said that it is doubling the size of its R&D team in the next 12 months. It will be recruiting more than 100 scientists from all around the world. They will have access to dedicated “facilities, resources, and [an] innovative environment to create an entirely new technology platform to replace animals as our technology for turning plants into meat, fish and dairy foods.”

From the sound of things, Impossible Milk isn’t going to be the last innovation we see out of Impossible Foods. At present, the company’s product portfolio includes plant-based beef and, as unveiled at this year’s CES 2020, Impossible Pork. Given our admiration for Impossible’s work in the past, consider us suitably excited to see what’s next.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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