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Made from plants, it can replace eggs in everything from cakes to mayonnaise – without a chicken ever coming close to the production process.
The team today started selling their ‘plant egg’, called Beyond Eggs, in Whole Foods in California – and say it could soon be available in supermarkets worldwide.
We want to take animals out of the equation,’ said Josh Tetrick, the firm’s founder. ‘The food industry is begging for innovation, especially where animals are involved – it is a broken industry.’
Tetrick’s idea was to find a mix of easy-to-grow plants that, when mixed together in the right way, replicate the taste, nutritional values and cooking properties of an egg.
This, he believes will allow the firm to produce its substitute for mass market foods – and to allow developing worlds to grow their own versions with added nutrients.
‘Eggs are functionally incredible, they do everything from hold oil and water in mayo to making the muffin rise and holding scrambled eggs together,’ he said ‘I started to think what if we can find plants that can do this. We have about 12 plants pre-selected, including a pea already widely grown in Canada. There’s also a bean in South Asia that is incredible in scrambled eggs.’
The firm is already in talks with major food manufacturers around the world – including several in the UK, to replace eggs in supermarket products with their alternative.
So far, he says the team has perfected an egg substitute for mayonnaise, and one for cakes.
‘Companies like Hampton Creek Foods are experimenting with new ways to use heat and pressure to turn plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs,’ he recently wrote of the firm.The team initially struggled.
‘Our first attempts weren’t great, we tried to make a muffin using a mix of plants,’ said Tetrick.
‘Ours tasted really gummy, and didn’t have the ‘bounce’ we wanted. Our mayonnaise would not hold the oil and egg together, so had what looked like liquid syrup. Scrambled eggs were even worse – they just wouldn’t congeal at all, and had a really bad aftertaste.
Tetrick admits the firm is struggling with artificial scrambled egg. He says there is a ‘pretty good’ recipe, but admits more work is needed.
‘Eventually we’ll get to one thing that will replace everything,’ he said.
The firm hopes to allow developing countries to grow and produce their own ‘plant eggs’.
‘In developing countries, we can also add in things missing from the local diet, helping nutrient deficiencies, and we have had initial discussion with the world food programme about this.
‘What we want to do eventually is find a way to work with farmers in the developing world to enable them to have new cash crops that can be used. Then we become the kind of company to be feared by the bad guys in the industry.’
‘Even better than the real thing’:
MailOnline was able to try two of Hampton Creek’s products – its mayonnaise, and cookies made using its baking product.
The results were surprising, if a little anticlimactic. Both tasted exactly as you would expect – and are indistinguishable from products made with real egg.
The chocolate chip cookies we tried were excellent – crumbly, moist and with a feel in the mouth identical to a normal cookie. Crucially, they also look identical to a normal cookie – despite containing no egg.
Hampton Creek’s ‘Beyond Egg’ mayonnaise was also extremely similar to ‘normal’ mayo – and after trying it out on a few friends, some even preferred to to normal mayonnaise.
This is amazing! I wish I lived in California... Sadly, I think it will take a long time for this product to cross the entire US and make it's way to Pennsylvania. Boo. But, knowing that it will get her eventually gives me something to look forward to! :)
This is fantastic news! I am vegetarian but if more products like this were made from plants rather than animals, I would consider going vegan :)
what is this? a vegetarian talking about vegetarian- in a vegetarian forum??
wow...hold the front page. vegetarians are the most boring people on Earth, conversationally.
Do you see meat eaters staring every conversation with "i'm a carnivore"?
NO. Try to be more original.
Here, have my lik---uh, wait a second....
Well... French monarchy did not start their conversations with "So, I was exploiting the population the other day..."
Even though the revolutionaries always advertised themselves as what they were.
Being the status quo means you don't have to stand for your stuff everytime, but the reformists (us, boring vegetarians) do.
Meat eaters don't start a conversation with "I'm a carnivore" because they find it revolting to call themselves that.
Do you know that it is common sense knowledge that meat eaters are more at risk for developing cancer, among other diseases? Raw meat takes substantially less time to decay than raw vegetable. Same with cooked meat.
Take care of yourself, Ewd. Use your common sense.
Being vegan is something that obviously make a person different from the rest this days. That is why you might say the person start a conversation with that. Doesn't mean is boring. I am a vegan, and yes I must say so, otherwise I will see a non-vegan plate in front of me.
Open your horinzons and you will understand normal people like you with a different point of view.
If you find the conversation so boring then why exactly are you even here??
You're the typical completely clueless flesh-eater.
Good choice Rudi, almost there! rewards are priceless Guaranteed!!!!!
This sounds amazing. I do hope they don't touch it with GMO.