Until now, much to the chagrin of plant-based Francophiles everywhere, eggs have been considered a staple ingredient in French cuisine. Now, Le Papondu, a French startup, has created a vegan egg that might turn your plant-based eggs-benedict dreams into a reality. Made by two biologists hoping to design a vegan substitute for eggs that didn’t rely on the typical powder formula, Le Papondu’s egg comes in a shell, perfect for cracking onto a sizzling pan.

Although the vegan egg’s exact formula remains top secret, the creators have revealed that their product uses various vegetable proteins and has a similar nutritional profile to a standard egg. The egg’s “incubators,” Philippine Soulères and Sheryline Thavisouk, wanted to create a more sustainable egg alternative that replicated the taste and texture of a standard egg closely enough for french chefs to not “pooh-pooh” at their product.

Le Papondu co-founder Thavisouk explained the origin story behind the product, saying, “Les Merveilloeufs started as a research project in engineering school back in 2017. Philippine and I were both still students in industrial biology. We noticed that an increasing number of people in France were looking to reduce or even to eliminate products of animal origin from their diet. When we interviewed vegans around us, we found out that there were certain foods that they missed more than others in their diet transition.”

Thavisouk continues to explain their company’s larger goal, illuminating, “Beyond accomplishing the technological challenge of reproducing eggs, the aim of our startup is to propose a plant-based alternative that respects our health as well as our planet’s health and that meets the values of animal ethics.”

Before partnering with the startup incubator Station F, Le Papondu raised close to 25,000 dollars on Kickstarter, three times higher than their initial goal. With their new partnership and funding, the company hopes to bring its “egg to market” by the end of this year. Over this last year, the once untapped imitation egg market has exploded.

JUST Egg, an egg alternative that uses a mung-bean base, just announced an expansion that will bring their hyper-realistic product to shelves a total of 17,000 stores across the country. Zero Egg, another rising vegan egg alternative, celebrated “World Egg Day” by announcing its initial B2B launch in the foodservice space. Thanks to all of these recent developments, vegans, and non-vegan alike can look forward to breakfast, served plant-based and sunny side up.

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