One of the first - but most challenging - products JUST founder Josh Tetrick started working on at the San Francisco-based firm (formerly Hampton Creek), four years ago, Just Egg is made from water, mung bean protein isolate and canola oil (see full ingredients list below) and is designed to look, cook, and taste, just like scrambled egg.
Vegan restaurant chain Veggie Grill – which was the first restaurant brand to roll out Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger back in 2016 – is combining Just Egg with black beans, plant-based cheese, and chorizo in a new line of breakfast burritos, its first foray into the morning meal category, explained CEO Steve Heeley.
“As a company offering innovative, plant-based cuisine, we constantly seek partnerships with like-minded brands that are bringing craveable and new plant-based foods to market. We want our guests to feel good about what they are eating, and we are proud to align with JUST, who is also committed to making healthier and sustainable products that better our food system.”
While the egg substitute will be described simply as 'JUST scrambled egg' on menus, diners will know it is plant-based as Veggie Grill doesn't sell animal-based products, said a spokesperson.
Looks, cooks, and tastes, like egg...
Available to foodservice operators in a liquid form and as a baked patty, Just Egg is currently sold in handful of high-end restaurants in the US and in Hong Kong, and will also be sold in bottles next to regular liquid egg at retailers including Wegman’s, Fresh Thyme, and Gelson’s Markets, JUST head of communications Andrew Noyes told FoodNavigator-USA.
“We’re talking with a number of existing and potential retail and foodservice partners about carrying Just Egg…
“Our product development team has worked for more than four years to arrive at the current version of Just Egg and, as with all of our products, we’re going to keep improving it. Just Egg liquid is perfect for scrambles and omlettes and Just Egg patty is ideal for breakfast sandwiches and wraps. Just Egg (liquid) cooks in a pan the same way a chef would cook a conventional chicken egg. No extra steps needed.”
Ingredients, Just Egg:
Water, mung bean protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, contains less than 2% of calcium citrate, enzyme, gellan gum, natural carrot extractives (color), natural flavors, natural turmeric extractives (color), onion puree, salt, soy lecithin, sugar, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, preservative (nisin, potassium sorbate).
Mung bean protein
Mung bean protein has potential applications in everything from egg substitutes to pasta and ice cream, says JUST, which received a 'no questions' letter from the FDA last summer responding to its determination that its proprietary mung bean protein isolate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
According to the GRAS determination the protein isolate is intended for use “as a direct protein replacement of animal- or vegetable-based protein in a variety of conventional food and beverage products across multiple categories.”
Use levels range “from 3% [in a breakfast cereal] to 90% [in a powdered protein product] w/w of the final product,” added JUST Inc, which listed possible applications areas including pasta, extruded snacks, bars, crackers, fermented beverages, dairy alternatives, breakfast cereals and dips as well as egg analogs.
While mung beans contain anti-nutritional factors including tannins, phytic acid, and protease inhibitors, these are partially or completely removed or degraded during processing steps such as dehulling, germination, soaking, and heating, said the firm.
Read more about mung bean protein HERE.