S'pore start-up to launch plant-based whole egg substitute 'OnlyEg' in 2022

Egg-citing times.

Sumita Thiagarajan | November 30, 2020, 06:18 PM

With a wide range of plant-based startups in Singapore, the island could one day become a thriving place for plant-based food industries.

With Singapore's concern over its food security and growing interest in environmental issues, the island has seen a few new high-tech startups and plant-based product companies.

This includes Shiok Meats, a company that produces cell-based seafood, and TurtleTree Labs, which makes breastmilk and cow's milk in a lab.

The newest food product is being debuted in Singapore is a plant-based egg substitute, OnlyEg.

Plant-based whole egg substitute created by S'pore start-up Float Foods

While plant-based egg substitutes can already be found in markets across the world, such as scrambled egg alternatives, a new startup in Singapore, Float Foods, announced on Nov. 30 that it plans to launch a whole egg substitute in 2022.

This will be Asia’s first commercial plant-based whole egg substitute that offers an egg yolk and egg white replacement.

The egg substitute, called OnlyEg, contains legumes, which refers to plants from the bean and pea family.

Here's what the OnlyEg looks like next to a raw chicken egg:

OnlyEg (top) in comparison to a chicken egg (bottom). Photo by OnlyEg

This makes it great for recipes that call for a sunny side-up, overeasy or soft boiled egg, the press release said.

Photo by OnlyEg

The egg substitute was developed in Singapore by a research and development team led by Float Foods founder and Chief Executive Officer Vinita Choolani.

The local leading research and innovation agencies, including Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore, Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation, and Singapore Polytechnic Food Innovation and Resource Centre have been "highly supportive" in the process of developing the OnlyEg.

Choolani said that the product was created to cater to the Asian diet:

“Eggs play a major role in Asian cuisine. Some of our local favourite ways of enjoying them are on its own, as soft-boiled eggs with toasts for breakfast, or a sunny side-up served with rice dishes such as nasi lemak or fried rice. Ultimately our goal is to apply food science and innovation to build plant-based products such as OnlyEg that enable cultural relevance and contribute to a sustainable food ecosystem that can be a part of Singapore’s future food plans."

Photo by OnlyEg

Nutritious, no hormones injected and climate-friendly

According to the company, OnlyEg is being developed to be more nutritious than a chicken egg.

The plant-based substitute also does not face the same issue regular chicken egg farming does, such as:

  • Potential for animal-to-human disease transmission,
  • Hormones or antibiotics residue
  • Carbon footprint and land use

Choolani added:

"[...] the rising concerns of animal disease transmission such as Covid-19 and the avian flu, which has proved to be much deadlier than coronavirus and prone to more frequent outbreaks, as well as the harmful effects of hormone injections administered to chickens to boost egg production – the case for a viable stand-alone plant-based alternative to the table egg has never been more compelling than now."

Helps Singapore achieve "30 by 30" goal

The idea of the egg substitute was conceived earlier this year when the founder experienced first-hand the impacts that Covid-19 had on Singapore's food supply chain.

Asia is the biggest market for chicken eggs.

Just in Singapore, about two billion eggs are consumed annually, of which 70 per cent is currently imported from Malaysia, making the country very susceptible to disruptions in the food supply chain.

The pandemic has accelerated the country's plan to produce 30 per cent of its nutritional needs by 2030.

As a homegrown food technology start-up, Choolani believes that Float Foods is in an "optimal place" to push the plant-based movement while contributing to Singapore's food security.

Besides whole egg substitutes, the company is also looking to release other products, such as dairy-free alternative proteins for yoghurt, cheese and milk, and a line of plant-based egg patty and shredded eggs in the near future.

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Top images by OnlyEg