US biotech innovator unveils the world’s first hen-free egg

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The Every Egg was the star ingredient of Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park's plant-based menu. Pic: The Every Co.
The Every Egg was the star ingredient of Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park's plant-based menu. Pic: The Every Co.

Related tags The Every Co. Eggs Protein Fermentation plant-based Eleven Madison Park Grupo bimbo liquid egg Bakery

Using yeast and animal protein DNA it's now possible to grow hen-free eggs in a lab. But what does an omelette made with them taste like?

The Every Co debuted the Every Egg – the world’s first liquid egg product created from precision fermentation-derived proteins – at an exclusive multi-course dinner at Eleven Madison Park on 8 December.

The hen-free liquid egg is the result of nine years of product development funded by over $233m from notable investors such as American actress Anne Hathaway, Grupo Bimbo – the world’s biggest bakery manufacturer, and beverage giant AB InBev.

In 2015, Arturo Elizondo teamed up with Dave Anchel to establish the Silicon Valley-based biotech company with the aim to develop a scalable yeast fermentation platform to decouple proteins from animals. It does this by using yeast to convert sugar into ‘super-functional’ proteins that are similar to those found in animals and animal products – all without the animal.

“For nine years, my dream has been to build a food system humanity can be proud of,”​ said Elizondo, who is CEO of The Every Co.

“By decoupling the egg from the chicken, Every Egg is going to change the way we think about one of the most ubiquitous foods on the planet.”

A chef’s dream

Creme brulee Getty Adam Gault
Pic: GettyImages/Adam Gault

“When I met Chef Humm, I knew I had met someone with that same dream, and I am thrilled to join forces to make our shared vision a reality.”

The Every Egg made its entrance in a first-of-its-kind product collaboration with Chef Daniel Humm. A group of culinary innovators, chefs and creators were among the first to taste it at an exclusive dinner at Eleven Madison Park, Chef Humm’s 3-star Michelin restaurant in New York City.

The novel egg was the centerpiece ingredient in multi-course, plant-based menu – including an omelette and creme brûlée – to showcase its quality.

According to the California business, the Every Egg replicates the flexibility of traditional hen-laid eggs, serving as a 1:1 replacer in any application, from the intricate art of bakery to something as simple as an omelette.

The product is a blend of animal-free ovalbumin and plant-based ingredients. The process involves extracting the DNA sequences responsible for animal proteins and inserting them into yeast. This is fed with sugar, which turns into protein. Every then adds plant-based ingredients to bolster flavour and texture.

Though it’s meant to taste and perform like a real egg, it doesn’t have the same nutritional profile, punching in with 8g of protein per serving (a chicken egg sports between 5g-8g of protein), along with zero cholesterol or saturated fat (375g and , respectively, in 100g of boiled, chicken eggs). The Every Egg also contains no artificial flavourings.

“Eggs are a universal staple in every kitchen, and this is the first time we’ve crafted an event menu around a novel food product,”​ said Chef Humm.

“When we prepared an omelette using Every Egg, the taste and versatility was all but indistinguishable from hen eggs. We are excited about the potential of Every Egg to transform the food landscape.”

The Every Egg is available for sampling to bakers and foodservice operators and will be available at restaurants in 2024.

Girl with macaroons Tara Moore
Pic: GettyImages/Tara Moore

Disrupting the food landscape

Recognised as one of the 50 Hottest Tech Companies in the World by Crunchbase, and among the 50 Next companies to Disrupt the World, Every's other game-changing ingredients are already available for food manufacturers.

These include the Every EggWhite – a hyper-functional drop-in for eggs in baked goods (like meringues and macarons) and alt meat applications, launched in 2021 – and Every Protein, which ‘enables clean boosting with unmatched optical clarity, solubility and ‘nearly invisible’ taste’.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to create a product that meets the absolute highest standards of the world's top chefs,”​ said Lance Lively, GM of Every.

“We looked at every feature and functionality of our egg and worked to perfect it. We were honoured to introduce Every Egg to the world in spectacular fashion at Eleven Madison Park, where Chef Humm and his team cultivated a bespoke menu to showcase the quality and culinary versatility of Every Egg in every course.

“Each dish was a consummate work of art.”

Pic: The Every Co.

Of course, the product also opens the door to a future where nutritious eggs are finally possible without the production variability, disease risk and high environmental impact of animal agriculture.

Earlier this year, The Every Co. moved to new headquarters to support its next expansion phase, with a new laboratory that offers expanded R&D fermentation capacity. It also brought fermentation veteran Scott Hine on board to scale the platform at lower costs.

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