Vegetarian brand Lightlife will remove all animal products from its line by the end of 2017. While most of its products are currently vegan, Lightlife has received criticism from loyal brand advocates for its use of egg whites in some of its recipes, which were introduced in the early 2000s by previous ownership of the company to “improve the taste and texture” of some of the brand’s products—such as its chick’n and sausage lines. The removal of all animal products has been in the works since the brand became independently owned in 2013. “We’re in the final stages of transitioning our entire portfolio to 100 percent animal-free by adhering to Vegan Action standards,” Lightlife’s marketing director Brad Lahrman told VegNews. “It has been a lengthy process to remove egg whites from a handful of items without changing the taste profile, but we are very close.” Being accessible to consumers of all diets is important to the brand, Lahrman said, adding, “Animals or animal byproducts simply aren’t needed to create delicious, healthy, protein-rich food.” Additionally, all of the company’s products are now non-GMO Project Verified. Canadian meat company Maple Leaf Foods acquired Lightlife for $140 million in February in an effort to capture a segment of the growing plant-based industry. VegNews awarded Lightlife a Top Ten Best of Show award for its vegan Veggie Sausage Ravioli during trade convention Expo West last week.