This breakfast product looks, feels & sort of tastes like egg — but it's not
What looks like that tasty breakfast dish may not always be what it appears to be
I’ve learnt a new word this morning: transglutaminase.
It’s very interesting what one picks up from just reading the ingredients on the back of packets. Transglutaminase, the simple definition, is an enzyme that fuses proteins together and it’s listed as one of ingredients found in JUST Egg, a new product to land on the SA market that is a folded flat style of omelette not made from chicken eggs, but rather something created from plant-based products.
It comes in a Cellophane wrapper, yes it’s yellow, almost the colour of egg, and is a folded style of omelette. Though a tad anaemic until it's reheated as per package instructions, which can be done in the toaster, a pan, oven or microwave. I did mine in a splash of olive oil in a pan and, yes, it has a similar texture and (at a stretch) taste to egg, except this one is made from the legume, mung bean protein.
Flavoured with dehydrated garlic and onion, and the colour comes from carrot and turmeric extracts, it’s quite a mouthful to replicate a simple egg.
On paper it looks good. Yes, it extols all the virtues of a plant-based lifestyle and saving the planet and all that — I get it. What I don’t understand is why the need to replicate animal foods for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles — and at what cost both to the environment and the pocket?
JUST Egg is made in Canada and is distributed in SA by Infinite Foods, described as Africa’s premier go-to market company for plant-based food brands, who have recently announced a partnership with Eat Just Inc, the makers of JUST Egg, a company based in California said to be America’s fastest-growing egg brand made entirely of plants.
When fresh eggs is SA are one of the most affordable protein sources, Infinite Foods sells six boxes of JUST Egg, each box contains four folded plant “eggs” for R479, which makes it R79.83 for a box and just under R20 for one plant egg omelette.
• JUST Egg is available at all Wellness Warehouse store, selected restaurants like Lexi’s, Jackson’s, Great Cape Deli and Infinite Foods. For more, visit infinitefoods.com/shop.