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Collaborative Success Stories: Chews like Chicken

Beyond Meat

University of Missouri scientists have created the first soy product with the texture of chicken.

Meat substitutes provide essential protein without antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, trans fats and cholesterol.  But many consumers are reluctant to eat substitutes because the texture is different from meat.

A soy product that tastes like chicken is nothing new, but mimicking the feel has eluded food scientists—until now. MU researchers Fu-Hung Hsieh and Harold Huff have found the recipe for success. Food Network critic Alton Brown gave their product a thumbs up: “I actually feel the product breaking down meatily in my mouth…I think these guys may be on to something.”

Entrepreneur Ethan Brown of Beyond Meat quickly saw the discovery’s potential and partnered with Hsieh, Huff, and MU to begin commercial production under the brand name “Beyond Meat.” With support from additional investors, including Bill Gates, the chicken-free strips are rolling out nationwide in Whole Foods and other familiar stores.

Dr. Fu-Hung Hsieh is a professor of biological engineering and Harold Huff is a Senior Research Specialist in biological engineering. Both scientists are housed in MU’s College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Image courtesy of The Columbia Daily Tribune.

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Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future