What is heme and why is everyone talking about it?

Here at Jellybean Creative, we ensure we stay truly informed by devouring insight from a wide range of credible sources. In this way our clients know we’re always helping them put their best ‘food’ forward.

Whilst looking into The Food People’s 2019 UK Big Flavour Markers recently, I noticed a word I hadn’t seen before – heme – and my interest was immediately piqued.

Heme or haem is a coordination complex “consisting of an iron ion coordinated to a porphyrin acting as a tetradentate ligand, and to one or two axial ligands.”

OK, let’s start from the beginning.

  • It’s pronounced /hiːm/ (think team with a ‘h’)
  • It is an iron-containing compound which forms the non-protein part of haemoglobin and some other biological molecules
  • It’s in just about every living thing on Earth
  • It helps to move oxygen throughout the body, carries iron and colours our blood red
  • For most of us, the majority of the heme we consume comes from animals, but soy roots also contain heme

And why is it so interesting?

  • It gives a true meat-like flavour to dishes and is the ‘magic’ ingredient in the famous bleeding Impossible™ Burger
  • It could go some way to help save the planet by addressing growing issues attributed to livestock production

The Impossible™ Burger is receiving rave reviews: “This product is delicious. Every meat eater should try this.” I particularly liked this one: “On behalf of all the chickens “good job”

This video is a must watch.

It’s a very interesting time in menu development, with the explosion of veganism, foodservice operators are having to work hard to ensure their plant-based dishes stand out within the market and ultimately satisfy people’s appetites.

Has anyone tried an Impossible™ Burger and if so, what did you think? We must know! @JellybeanAgency