Clara Foods rebrands as The EVERY Company, launches ‘nearly invisible’ animal-free egg protein (without chickens)

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Arturo Elizondo: 'We’re offering the functionality of animal protein without all the baggage...' Image credit: The EVERY Company
Arturo Elizondo: 'We’re offering the functionality of animal protein without all the baggage...' Image credit: The EVERY Company

Related tags: The EVERY Company, Clara Foods, precision fermentation, animal free, Microbial fermentation

‘Animal-free’ protein startup Clara Foods has rebranded as The EVERY Company and unveiled EVERY ClearEgg, a highly soluble, "nearly invisible" functional egg protein, its second product produced via precision fermentation using genetically engineered microbes to produce animal proteins... without animals.

Claimed to have a “more neutral sensory profile than any leading plant- or animal-based protein on the market,” ​EVERY ClearEgg is able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and pH levels without denaturing, and is bio-identical to a glycoprotein contained in egg white, but is produced by The EVERY Company in a fermentation tank using a genetically engineered yeast strain.

EVERY ClearEgg enables formulators to add a “nearly tasteless​” protein boost to hot and cold beverages, acidic juices, energy drinks, carbonated and clear beverages, as well as snacks and nutrition bars, and supports kosher, halal and animal-free claims, said co-founder and CEO Arturo Elizondo, who said it will launch as a branded ingredient with its first retail customer later this year.

Nearly invisible, nearly tasteless… No need to add sugar, flavors, to mask protein off notes

From a nutritional perspective, he said: “EVERY ClearEgg is a highly digestible animal-free protein source. Relative to plant proteins with an average digestibility of 70-90%, EVERY ClearEgg has high digestibility at 93%.”

Pointing to a photo showing a variety of plant and animal proteins dropped into cold water (see below), he said: “You’ll see some of the plant based proteins kind of settle at the bottom because they tend to be pretty insoluble, while the animal ones are really soluble, but the whey protein tastes like milk, and then the egg smells like egg. EVERY ClearEgg doesn't settle and you don’t need to add sugar or flavors like chocolate and strawberry to mask the flavors of the proteins.”

The launch comes hot on the heels of The EVERY Co’s first product: ‘animal-free’ pepsin​, an enzyme traditionally sourced from pig stomachs that’s used in everything from digestive health supplements to the preparation of plant-based protein hydrolysates.

Both products are exclusively sold by Ingredion and available globally, said Elizondo, who recently teamed up with ZX Ventures​, the innovation arm of brewer AB InBev, to help develop an industrial scale fermentation platform for its proteins.

Protein Comparisons every co clara
Picture credit: The EVERY Company

‘We're unlocking a suite of egg proteins’

An egg white replacer containing animal-free egg albumin is also in the pipeline, said Elizondo, who said food companies are attracted to animal-free proteins for multiple reasons, from novel functionality, to sustainability, to the ability to make vegan claims, to simply wanting a consistent, reliable, and safe supply of high-quality protein with more reliable pricing.

“We're unlocking a suite of egg proteins, and we'll be launching products that go beyond hyper solubility and a clean taste, but also deliver foaming and binding and gelation. We're creating products that blow everything else out of the water.”

While the host microorganism is genetically engineered, the protein itself will not trigger a ‘bioengineered’ label

As for labeling, EVERY ClearEgg will be listed on the ingredients list as ‘non-animal egg white protein.'

Arturo Elizondo Headshot
Arturo Elizondo: “The EVERY brand name embodies our values of collaboration and optimism, and our belief that by working together we can build a more sustainable future for everyone…” Picture credit: The EVERY Company

While it is produced by a genetically modified yeast strain, ​it “does not contain residual genetically modified yeast nor genetically modified DNA, so does not trigger a bioengineered label,” ​noted Elizondo, who secured a coveted ‘no questions’ letter from the FDA last month in response to the company’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) determination for EVERY ClearEgg.

“As part of our FDA GRAS dossier, we confirmed the absence of GM yeast from three lots of material produced using methods representative of commercial scale.”

The rebrand: ‘This is really like Clara coming out of its egg shell’

Asked about the rebrand from Clara Foods to The EVERY Company, he said: “This is really like Clara coming out of its egg shell. We felt that people were excited about what we were doing and that it warranted a new name, because we’re starting a new conversation in the protein space.

“Our ambition has always been to make our products accessible to everyone and that is in large part why we chose a partnership-driven model, so we’re working with Ingredion to drive scale and impact in terms of our reach, and we’re working with AB InBev to drive scale on the manufacturing side and to have a global footprint.”

every company logo

Origins story:​ Founded by Elizondo and David Anchel in late 2014, The EVERY Company (formerly Clara Foods) engineers yeast to express proteins found in eggs via a fermentation process requiring a source of sugars as the feedstock.

The genetically engineered yeast is not present in the final proteins, which would not​ be classified as ‘bioengineered’ under new federal labeling laws​, ​says the company, which raised $15m in a Series A round in 2016 and $40m in a Series B in 2019.

GRAS notice:​ Clara Foods has put together GRAS (generally recognized as safe) determinations for several proteins, and is submitting them to the FDA, says Elizondo, who noted that the proteins are already found in eggs, so do not present novel safety issues for regulators. 

In a letter​ ​sent to Clara Foods on September 9, the FDA said it had no questions regarding Clara’s determination that EVERY ClearEgg is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

Produced by a strain of Komagataella phaffii​ yeast, the soluble egg-white protein is a glycoprotein containing predominantly recombinant ovomucoid, explained the FDA: “The physical characteristics of the recombinant ovomucoid in soluble egg-white protein and deglycosylated native hen egg white ovomucoid are equivalent in molecular weight, isoelectric point, and glycosylation sites.”

After fermentation, the K. phaffii​ cells are separated by centrifugation and microfiltration. The resulting lysate is further purified using pH adjustment and ultra-filtration, and then dried to produce the final product, an off-white powder.

Allergens​: As hen egg ovomucoid is a known allergenic protein in egg, products containing The EVERY Company’s soluble egg-white protein will be labeled as ‘contains egg.’

Pic credit: The EVERY Company

Interested in meat, dairy, and seafood alternatives?

Checkout FoodNavigator-USA's FREE 'Disrupting the Meat and Dairy Case​' 3-part series:

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