French startup Le Papondu (formerly Les Merveilloeufs) has created a whole vegan egg—complete with yolk and shell—that cooks, tastes, and cracks like a chicken egg. Formulated by biologists Philippine Soulères and Sheryline Thavisouk at Paris Ecole de Biologie Industrielle, the egg is composed of a proprietary mix of vegetable proteins that remain confidential. Le Papondu aimed to create an alternative egg that contains a similar nutritional profile to, is as versatile as a chicken egg, and meets the needs of vegans and those with egg allergies. They also wanted to create an alternative that is more environmentally friendly.
“Our initiative is very much a response to today’s unsustainable egg production system. We’re very conscious about the negative environmental impact caused by the rearing of laying hens, which is even worse if done in battery farming,” Thavisouk told the Station F blog. “In every step of our product development, from the selection of raw ingredients to the manufacturing and packaging processes, we make it a priority to choose solutions that are as green as possible.”
Earlier this year, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign in which it raised nearly $25,000—three times its initial goal. The company has since partnered with startup incubator program Station F to bring their creation to the market.