Impossible Foods has announced the first major upgrade to its plant-based Impossible Burger that is designed to lure meat eaters away from animal-based meat by providing a near-perfect replica.

The upgraded recipe is gluten, hormone and antibiotics-free, and is designed to be used in a host of dishes, including stress, sauces, minces, pies and – of course – burgers.

With the taste, texture and appearance of real meat, it is designed to provide a healthier and more environmentally friendly option to hardcore meat eaters.

Each quarter-pound Impossible Burger patty now contains 0mg cholesterol, 14g total fat and 240 calories, compared to 80mg cholesterol, 23g total fat and 290 calories in an equivalent beef burger.

For Impossible Foods, it is a product that meat eaters will order, rather than a vegetarian option, despite containing no meat at all.

“The newest Impossible Burger delivers everything that matters to hard-core meat lovers, including taste, nutrition and versatility,” said Impossible Foods’ CEO and founder Dr Patrick O Brown.

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Impossible Burger and the plan to eliminate meat from the food chain

For Impossible Burger, their product is a key part of a wider goal of removing animals from the food chain entirely.

“This is the plant-based meat that will eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable,” said Brown.

“Using animals to make protein is an ancient technology – and while it worked in the 19th century, it doesn’t sustainably scale for the 21st century and beyond,” added Mary Sue Milliken, co-owner of Border Grill, a restaurant in La Vegas that as of today became the first restaurant to serve the upgraded burger.

“We need more innovation in the food sector so meat lovers can keep eating their favourite foods – without destroying biodiversity. I’ve been watching Impossible Foods for years and am thrilled to see the quantum leap forward of this next-generation recipe.”

The burger will be rolled out at US restaurants over the next few weeks, and will be launched in US stores later this year. There is no word yet on an Impossible Burger launch in Europe, but it is already available in Hong Kong and Macau, and a Singapore launch is planned in the next few months.