“This is our E-tongue,” explains Parker Lee, lead scientist of Beyond Meat’s analytical lab. The young scientist stands by a sleek, two-foot compactor that squishes Beyond Meat’s burgers to test for chewiness, juiciness, and elasticity. A mechanical arm increases and decreases pressure to examine whether the mouthfeel replicates what you might experience at, say, an In-N-Out. With each lever, the plant-based non-meat patty oozes–then bursts with blood orange-colored juice. The question: Can they further delay the bursts? Or make the texture a bit softer, without expensing firmness?