A pair of French biologists have broken down the final frontier in the surge towards veganism.
Students Philippine Soulères and Sheryline Thavisouk decided to take advantage of the booming market for vegan alternatives as part of a project at Paris' Ecole de Biologie Industrielle. Deciding to focus on the notoriously hard to replicate egg, which features in a host of foods as a binding agent.
The duo created Les Merveilloeufs - a play on 'merveilleux' meaning marvellous and 'oeufs' translating as eggs - making for an egg replacement that looks as well as acts like the hen's egg it mimics.
"Veganism is booming," Philippine told French daily Le Monde(translated from French).
Sheryline added: "We realized that what was missing most in vegan people's daily food was the egg, a food that can be found in every meal, from breakfast to dinner, in sweet and savory dishes. We decided to make one."
The recipe of their vegan-friendly egg remains under wraps, telling Le Monde that it contains vegetable and mineral materials.
It took more than 50 test recipes and three years to reach a stage where the product was recognisable in its current form as something consumers would want from an egg, the creators said.
Despite their egg alternative being completely free of hens and cocks, they've managed to maintain a remarkable likeness to an egg, with a distinct white and yolk, setting it apart from competitors that replicate only one functionality. For example, Oggs made with aquafaba are designed for use in baking, while Just's egg replacer is made with mung beans and comes mixed, ready to scramble.
Les Merveilloeufs even come in their own shells.
Soulères and Thavisouk decided to make a business out of their idea, partnering with incubator programme Station F. Now, ready to burst onto the market, the pair are highlighting that anyone can become and entrepreneur, and there's no fixed mould.