Egg Alternatives

Onego Bio Combats World Egg Crisis with Precision Fermentation

On this World Egg Day, Finnish food-biotech company Onego Bio offers a solution to a global challenge – the sustainability and ethics of egg production.

Onego Bio has created an egg white alternative through precision fermentation – Bioalbumen™, an animal-free egg white protein. This innovation not only addresses environmental concerns but also offers economic advantages. The company claims Bioalbumen™ production has a 90% lower carbon footprint than traditional egg production, coupled with ten times better yields and a 20% reduction in production costs while providing the same nutrition and functionality as traditional egg whites.

“Bioalbumen is not a substitute; it is the real thing. It is part of an emerging category of animal-free ingredients produced through fermentation”

The company uses precision fermentation and the microorganism Trichoderma reesei to produce what it claims are bioidentical egg proteins that offer the same functionality and nutrition without the ethical, environmental, and safety-related concerns associated with conventional egg production.

Maija Itkonen, CEO of Onego Bio, comments, “Bioalbumen is not a substitute; it is the real thing. It is part of an emerging category of animal-free ingredients produced through fermentation.”

Onega Bio pasta
© Onega Bio

The protein is versatile, maintaining all egg white’s nutritional and functional benefits, including foaming, gelling, binding, and leavening properties. As a result, it can be used in various industries, such as bakery, confectionary, fitness products, protein powders, and snacks, the company states.

To expedite the scale-up and commercialization of animal-free egg white proteins, Onego Bio has partnered with Perfect Day, a global leader in producing animal-free dairy proteins through precision fermentation. Perfect Day’s experience in gaining GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status in the United States and launching successful products to the market is invaluable to Onego Bio. This partnership allows them to access expertise in bioprocess development, regulatory support, and scale-up processes.

Recognized for innovation

The company was recently selected as a winner in Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards. Bioalbumen™ was named the Food category winner and a finalist in the Agriculture category.

Onego Bio is poised to launch Bioalbumen™ as an ingredient for the food, bakery, confectionary, and fitness industry, primarily targeting the United States, where the egg replacer market is projected to grow with a CAGR of 6.6% through to 2030. The company also has plans to enter the consumer market with its own branded products for baking and cooking.

“We anticipate that by bringing such an important ingredient to the market, many food system challenges can be solved, even outside of the egg market,” concludes Itkonen.

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