At the end of 2017, Just Scramble, the “eggless” egg, was launched and swiped through the catering industry and vegetarian field. This plant-based egg had been developed by Hampton Creek, a food technology company where Li Ka-Shing is one of millionaire sponsors, for 4 years. The debut was finally made in several restaurants in San Francisco and it had ignited on the social media.
Eggs have been one of the most abundant and affordable protein sources for human for a long history. Due to their denaturing ability, eggs are commonly used in all kinds of food as a binding ingredient, such as cake, bread and fried food batter, etc. Average egg consumption per capita has been continually rising during last few decades. As early as 2012, a statistical report published by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, pointed out that by 2050, the annual egg consumption will rise to 102 million tons. In conversion, this is approximately 1,500 billion chicken eggs.
To satisfy this enormous demand, egg production has been developed and hastened in poultry farming at a factory scale, making it no difference from modern meat production. To maximize the number of eggs harvested, farmers use artificial daylight consistently to disturb hen’s normal biological clock. Abundant and numerous antibiotics are applied to promote their growth as well as disease control. Most of hens spend their whole life trapping in tiny cages, unable to move and spread their wings. The major criticism lies on the animal welfare of chicks given the selective culling of male chicks. Due to the fact that male chicks cannot produce offspring and the egg-laying breed are considered less appealing in taste than the meat chicken, they are thought as undesirable birds with low value and economic importance to the egg industry. The standard practice is to kill them as soon as the day of birth.
From environmental aspect, carbon emission contributed by eggs ranks no.8 in common foods and every kilogram of eggs is responsible for 4.8 kg carbon emission. Its water consumption ranks, even higher, at no.6 among all common foods. It requires 3265L water per a kilo of egg production. Undoubtedly it is a hidden killer of water resource.
Cholesterol and saturated fats together are two other big concerns to the consumers. In contrast, Just Scramble plant-based egg is made by mung bean-based protein and free of cholesterol, antibiotics, hormone as well as fertilizer residue. The saturated fat content is only 0.91g, 70% less than eggs. It is also free from bacterial contaminations such as salmonella and has an average protein value of approx. 10.7g per serving, which is very close to eggs (12g per big egg).
Besides, Just Scramble has less water footprint and generates fewer carbon emissions than traditional eggs, respectively reduce 22% water consumption and 24% carbon dioxide. The most exciting is the frying “egg” experience. After pouring the yellowish liquid to the frying pan and a few minutes’ heating, the scramble began to solidify, assembling like typical egg. A defined shape was formed after smoothly stirring. “This product certainly looks like eggs – it had the texture and the characteristic pastel-yellow color, and it was steaming like a hot plate of scrambled eggs normally would,” described by Erin Brodwin, a reporter from Business Insider, after the premium tasting in the headquarter of Hampton Creek.