PETA: the plant-based egg that looks like an ordinary one

It’s a spot of good news for meat eaters everywhere: there’s now a plant-based “egg” that looks remarkably like an ordinary egg. The “plant-based protein egg”, as it is being called, from Edmonton-based company…

PETA: the plant-based egg that looks like an ordinary one

It’s a spot of good news for meat eaters everywhere: there’s now a plant-based “egg” that looks remarkably like an ordinary egg.

The “plant-based protein egg”, as it is being called, from Edmonton-based company Nabati Foods, is made of ground and powder protein powder mixed with coconut oil, powdered egg whites and an egg white encapsulation process.

The concoction is billed as the world’s first plant-based meat substitute, but customers have to use special equipment to get their hands on a sample. That’s because Nabati’s Egg Emulsion is currently being tested as a second-hand option in some restaurants in Edmonton and Vancouver; there are no plans to sell it to the public in the UK or US, but the company plans to work on patents.

Edmonton’s plant-based egg triggers food science challenge Read more

Plant-based foods can create controversy for their perceived effect on traditional food production. The Organic Consumers Association has conducted studies on the use of “artificial” ingredients in cookies and meatless burgers – although meat in meatless burgers is technically meat – in a bid to avoid “emotional pleas for … abiotic [free-from] carbon emissions that result from the livestock sector’s production of meat”.

On its website, Nabati declares that its egg-less protein product “has never been tested or approved by the World Health Organization, EAT or other global regulatory organisations”. But in a statement to the Guardian it added: “Food processing and packaging safety agencies have expressed that the egg-free egg emulsion does not present any risk to human health or the environment.”

The Egg Emulsion is not even available on Nabati’s website yet; the company only allows emails to get samples in person. But it’s already a contender for the title of the planet’s most extraordinary product: people from around the world have posted about their experiences on social media, from the delight of eating egg-free meat on a vegan diet to praise for its healthy side effects.

Edmonton-based Nabati Foods uses different processes to make different ‘meatless’ and ‘egg-free’ products. Photograph: Nabati Foods

The company was started in May 2017 by chef Hamid Hashemi and supermarket manager Shayna Ganyal in an attempt to find a reliable source of plant-based protein – the kinds of proteins in plants that do not happen to be very tasty. “People don’t like brown rice, beans, oil, fats, sugars, meat, fish and dairy. And I’m tired of a diet that’s on autopilot,” Ganyal told the Guardian.

Until now, those protein powders have cost too much and delivered too few nutrients. “Fingers crossed, the next milestone [in Nabati’s story] will be the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] clearance,” Ganyal said.

Plant-based food continues to find favour in the food industry. McDonald’s has launched its plant-based burger and other companies, including Marks & Spencer, now offer plant-based versions of their traditional products. Last year, the US Department of Agriculture announced that one in three daily calories came from plant-based foods.

Nabati does not sell its Emulsion in store and relies on restaurants and private buyers to order it, charging between $30 and $50 for a medium. One meal costs about 50 calories. As of last week, the company’s website was still quoting a 1% return on investment for Emulsion, which it billed as offering “a superior taste and taste profile”.

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