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.
"When creating the Merveillœufs, the most complicated aspect was making sure they could match up when it comes to cooking. Hens’ eggs are used in such a variety of different ways, which means they are hard to replicate," the inventors told Euronews Living.
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.
The final recipe of their vegan-friendly egg is still in development, but the pair revealed that it will likely be based on legumes.
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 which the creators are hoping to make as eco-friendly as possible.
Soulères and Thavisouk decided to make a business out of their idea, partnering with incubator programme Station F. Their crowdfunding campaign was recently successful and now Les Merveilloeufs is getting ready to appear on supermarket shelves in the not too distant future.
Ready to burst onto the market, the pair are highlighting that anyone can become an entrepreneur, and there's no fixed mould.