Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to amend color additive regulations to provide for the safe use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in ground beef analogue products, also widely known as veggie burgers.

FDA’s action is in response to a color additive petition submitted in November 2018 by Impossible Foods, Inc., maker of the popular Impossible Burger. The company asked FDA to issue a regulation listing the use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive in food.

After a review of data submitted by Impossible Foods, along with other relevant documentation, FDA concluded that there is “a reasonable certainty of no harm from the use of soy leghemoglobin as a color additive” in food.

“We have previously considered the safety of soy leghemoglobin preparation as the result of a submission from Impossible Foods who made its own determination, to which we had no questions, that the use of soy leghemoglobin preparation to optimize flavor in ground beef analogue products intended to be cooked is generally recognized as safe (GRAS),” says the FDA final rule.

Once the final rule is published, FDA does allow a 30-day period for any person who’s been adversely affected by the use of soy leghemoglobin in food to submit an objection. All objections must include the Docket No. FDA–2018–C–4464 for “Listing of Color Additives Exempt from Certification; Soy leghemoglobin.” More information on the color additive rule, and how to submit an objection, can be found at

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