The Awesome Burger: What Does It Offer Nutritionally?

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Néstle’s ‘Awesome Burger’ has recently launched.

The burger claims to be “just as meaty and juicy” as a traditional burger and boasts about its “plant-based goodness”.

However, what does this latest plant-based product offer nutritionally?

In this article, we inspect its nutritional value, how it compares to its competitors, and how it fares against regular beef.

Plant-Based Burger Patty Next To Knife and Fork.

What Is the Awesome Burger?

Similar to other plant-based burgers, the Awesome Burger aims to replicate the appearance and taste of a traditional beef burger.

In terms of appearance, it somewhat mimics the look of a ground beef patty, and the burger is said to have a “meaty taste.”

A brand called Sweet Earth produces the Awesome Burger.

Sweet Earth are wholly-owned by Néstle, so the Awesome Burger has some serious marketing money behind it (1).

Ingredients Profile

The Awesome Burger contains a wide range of ingredients, and the full ingredients listing is as follows (2):

  • Water
  • Textured pea protein
  • Coconut oil
  • Wheat gluten
  • Canola oil
  • Methylcellulose
  • Natural flavors
  • Distilled Vinegar
  • Fruit and vegetable juice concentrate
  • Dried malted barley extract
  • Dried vinegar
  • Cultured corn starch
  • Sea salt
  • Salt
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1)
  • Potassium chloride (potassium)

While most of these ingredients will be familiar by name, people may know less about the following inclusions.

Textured pea protein

Textured pea protein refers to the isolated protein fragments of peas.

Production of pea protein makes use of a process that involves various dry and liquid phases. The result is the mechanical separation of pea proteins from fiber and starch (3).

Following this, the protein is either heated at extremely high temperatures or dry sprayed to form into a powder.

Manufacturers use yellow split peas to produce pea protein (4).

Methylcellulose

Methylcellulose is a chemical produced from cellulose.

It is a type of insoluble fiber that manufacturers use as a thickener in various food products (5).

Natural Flavors

The name ‘natural flavors’ can be confusing.

Firstly, natural flavors refer to a flavoring substance that has a natural origin (6).

However, providing the substance has a natural (plant) origin, it can then be processed or treated in a wide range of different ways.

The end product is far from its original form, but how natural something is (or isn’t) doesn’t necessarily dictate its health properties.

In addition to their inclusion in the Awesome Burger, natural flavors are common ingredients in soft drinks, candy, and flavored protein supplements.

Not Suitable For Gluten-Free Diets Or People With Celiac Disease

It is important to note that wheat gluten is one of the Awesome Burger’s ingredients.

For this reason, the Awesome Burger is unsuitable for those individuals following a gluten-free diet.

Key Point: The Awesome Burger is made by Sweet Earth, which is a Néstle brand. It contains numerous ingredients with the primary ingredient being pea protein.

Nutrition Facts

Now that we know the ingredients of the Awesome Burger, what does it offer nutritionally?

The table below shows the nutritional values per serving, as disclosed by the manufacturer (7).

Awesome Burger Nutrition Facts Per 4 oz (113g) Patty
Calories/NutrientAmount
Calories260 kcal
Carbohydrate9 g
  Fiber6 g
  Sugars3 g
Fat15 g
  Saturated Fat7 g
Protein26 g

As shown, the Awesome Burger offers a good source of protein.

The carbohydrate it provides is primarily fiber.

There are 15 grams of fat, approximately half of which is saturated fat from coconut oil.

Micronutrients
Vitamin/MineralAmount% DV
Calcium170 mg15 %
Iron4.9 mg25 %
Potassium200 mg4 %

On the negative side, the Awesome Burger is a relatively poor source of vitamins and minerals.

Per serving, the burger provides a moderate amount of calcium and a moderate-to-high dose of non-heme iron.

The Awesome Burger also offers a small amount of potassium.

Key Point: The Awesome Burger is primarily a source of protein, but it is lacking in vitamins and minerals.

How Does The Awesome Burger Compare To Other Plant-Based Burgers?

In the table below, you can see how the basic nutrition values of the Awesome Burger compare to other plant-based burger options (7, 8, 9).

Nutrition Comparison of Popular Plant-Based Burgers (Per 4 oz Patty)
Calories/NutrientAwesome BurgerBeyond BurgerImpossible Burger
Calories260 kcal250 kcal240 kcal
Carbohydrate9 g3 g9 g
  Fiber6 g2 g3 g
  Sugars3 g0 g<1 g
Fat15 g18 g14 g
  Saturated Fat7 g6 g8 g
Protein26 g20 g19 g

As shown in the table, the three most famous plant burgers are relatively similar nutritionally.

However, the Awesome Burger offers more protein and fiber.

How Does the Awesome Burger Compare To Beef Nutritionally?

In recent months, there has been a big marketing push about the respective health merits of plant-based proteins.

On this note, and since the Awesome Burger claims to be a nutritious alternative to beef, we should look into how the two compare.

In the table below, you can see a direct comparison between the nutritional values of the Awesome Burger and an 80% lean beef burger (7, 10).

Nutritional Values: Awesome Burger vs. Beef Burger
Calories and NutrientsAwesome Burger (4 oz)Beef Burger (4 oz)
Calories260 kcal288 kcal
Carbohydrate9 g0 g
Fat15 g18.3 g
  Saturated Fat7 g8.2 g
Protein26 g28.6 g
B1 (Thiamin)0.05 mg (3.3% DV)
B2 (Riboflavin)0.2 mg (11.4% DV)
B3 (Niacin)5.3 mg (26.2% DV)
B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.7 mg (6.5 % DV)
Vitamin B60.4 mg (18.7 % DV)
Vitamin B122.8 mg (47.1 % DV)
Calcium170 mg (15 % DV)26.1 mg (2.6 % DV)
Copper0.09 mg (4.5 % DV)
Iron4.9 mg (25 % DV)2.9 mg (6.3 % DV)
Magnesium21.6 mg (5.4 % DV)
Manganese0.01 mg (0.5 % DV)
Phosphorus203 mg (20.3 % DV)
Potassium200 mg (4 % DV)307.3 mg (8.8 % DV)
Selenium23 mcg (32.9 % DV)
Sodium76 mg (3.2 % DV)
Zinc7.1 mg (47.2 % DV)

As we can see, the protein and fat content is similar. Unlike regular beef, the Awesome Burger also provides carbohydrate/fiber.

However, regular beef burgers offer a vastly superior micronutrient profile.

As shown in the nutritional values, beef burgers provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals, and particularly high amounts of selenium, vitamin B12, and zinc.

In contrast, the Awesome Burger only provides small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium.

Key Point: The Awesome Burger lacks a wide range of nutrients compared to regular beef.

Protein Bioavailability

When we discuss protein content, we should also consider the bioavailability of that protein for a complete picture. Protein bioavailability refers to the amount of protein that we can actually digest and absorb from the food we eat.

As previously mentioned, the source of protein in the Awesome Burger is pea protein.

According to the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) protein quality ratings, pea protein has a score of 82 (11).

While this score is superior to some sources of plant protein, it is inferior to soy protein (DIAAS score 90.0) and meat products (DIAAS scores >100.0) (11, 12, 13).

The DIAAS rating is thought to be the most accurate method of judging protein quality, and a score of 82 translates as a ‘medium quality protein.’ Scores over 100 achieve ‘high-quality protein’ status (13).

DIAAS measures the true digestion of amino acids in the ileum, which is at the end of the small intestine. Thus, we can ascertain how much of the amino acids in the food we absorbed (14).

Amino Acids

Pea protein is a complete source of protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.

However, it is relatively low in the amino acids lysine and methionine (15).

Studies demonstrate that pea protein can help promote gains in muscle mass (16).

Key Point: Pea protein is the source of protein in the Awesome Burger. This form of protein is bioavailable, but the protein quality doesn’t match up to animal-based foods such as beef.

Is the Awesome Burger a Healthy Option?

Overall, whether the Awesome Burger is a good choice or not depends on the reason people are buying it.

Nutritional Considerations

On a nutritional basis, the burger is a good source of protein.

However, it is missing numerous key vitamins and minerals that are present in beef, most notably the B vitamins.

For this reason, a regular beef burger, which contains a wide range of micronutrients, is a superior choice nutritionally.

It is also important to remember that it can be harder to get an adequate supply of nutrients on a vegan diet.

In this context, regularly eating a food product like the Awesome Burger could make achieving a nutritionally adequate diet even more difficult.

For people following vegetarian and vegan diets, traditional plant proteins such as lentils and beans offer better nutritional value than the Awesome Burger.

A Burger-Like Experience For Vegetarians

On the other hand, the Awesome Burger offers more protein than its direct plant-based burger competitors.

For those who choose not to eat meat yet want a burger-like experience, the Awesome Burger may be worth investigating.

That said, focusing on nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods would be the healthier option.

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