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Cholesterol-free products –
and not only for vegans

In the USA food technology experts have developed scrambled eggs suitable for vegans because they are totally without animal protein. The new product is a yellow liquid containing plant proteins which sets when it is heated. The developers, Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco, already market an eggless mayonnaise in America and an egg-free biscuit dough are in the pipeline. The aim is not merely to offer alternative products for vegans, but to contribute to cheaper, healthier food for everyone. Hampton Creek egg substitutes contain no cholesterol and have a far better environmental balance.

Plant proteins that can do what eggs do

Eggs from chickens and ducks seem indispensable in cooking because of the special functions they perform. Lecithin in egg yolk, for example, is an emulsifier facilitating the blending of fats and water.  When you make scrambled eggs, the egg sets, but remains creamy and light. It’s not easy to develop a plant-based product with similar properties. After intensive research, Hampton Creek’s scientists have identified plant-based proteins that will replicate 11 of the 22 functions that eggs perform in cookery. Most of the proteins come from beans and pulses.

Egg substitutes in Europe

In Germany and many other European countries, egg substitutes are available in health food shops and in some supermarkets. They often contain cornflour or potato starch, sometimes tapioca flour and they need to be mixed with water before being used to bind things like meatballs, sauces and pancakes. But of course, they’re not much use if you’re making scrambled eggs or an omelette. At the moment vegans tend to use tofu mixed with turmeric, salt and pepper to make ersatz scrambled eggs.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de