SAN FRANCISCO — A recent Stanford engineering and design graduate has developed a vegan egg substitute based on chickpeas. Grace O’Brien created Peggs in her home kitchen during lockdown last year.
“Peggs use 90% less land, water, and energy to produce and contribute to 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms. O’Brien said. “Our powdered egg uses chickpea, flax, potato, spices and other plant ingredients that, when combined with water, look just like eggs.”
The product is free of gluten, soy and cholesterol and may be used in cooking or baking applications. When creating Peggs, Ms. O’Brien experimented with hundreds of variations. She landed on a shelf-stable powdered format to reduce waste.
“Many alternative proteins are created in a lab with unrecognizable ingredients,” Ms. O’Brien said. “I strived to make a product with clean ingredients that people can pronounce and trust.”
Several plant-based egg substitutes have hit the market. Most notably, Just Egg from San Francisco-based Eat Just, Inc. is based on mung beans and is available in a liquid format for scrambles or omelets. The company also offers frozen, folded patties and is launching sous-vide egg-style bites. Zero Egg, developed by an Israeli startup, features a blend of plant proteins from soy, potato, pea and chickpeas. The brand offers separate formulas for egg-based dishes and baking. Mumbai-based Evo Foods is bringing animal-free alternatives to Indian consumers, beginning with a nutritious liquid egg replacement formulated with chickpeas, mung beans and peas.
“Peggs is one of the first plant-based egg options on the market that is versatile enough to work in cooking and baking, just like real eggs,” Ms. O’Brien said. “It is also one of the first to use chickpea as its primary ingredient.”
Peggs is launching on the Kickstarter crowdfunding site Jan. 27. Ms. O’Brien hopes to raise enough money through pre-orders to commercialize the product.
“I’m a new grad, running this business from my own savings,” she said. “I need help from the community to start manufacturing it.”