The low-energy drying process also produces clean water for further industrial use
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Spotted: When we think of eggs, we often think of specific egg-based dishes such as omelettes, but eggs and egg powder are extremely important ingredients in a whole range of food products. But as Israeli foodtech company Fabumin points out, eggs come with environmental impacts, with a single egg requiring the use of 30 litres of fresh water and generating 230 grammes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas. Given that the world produces more than 80 million tonnes of eggs each year, these impacts add up. Now, the startup has developed a plant-based egg powder alternative that is produced in a process it likens to “turning waste into gold”.
Aquafaba is the water left over after cooking chickpeas and other legumes, and food technologists hail its versatility and tastiness as an egg substitute. Fabumin created a process for drying aquafaba to make it easy to transport and much less expensive to store. Where liquid aquafaba requires refrigeration and is heavy to haul long distances, Fabumin’s powder is lightweight and shelf-stable.
The company uses a low-energy drying technique to evaporate the water and then a drying unit for the final product. Fabumin designed the drying system specifically to work with existing legume factory machinery, and an extremely useful byproduct of the process is that up to 80 per cent of the wastewater becomes reusable as clean condensate water.
The company states that one kilogramme of its aquafaba powder is equivalent to 130 eggs. And just like eggs, aquafaba foams, emulsifies, and binds, providing the ideal ingredient for plant-based cooking and baking. As well as being free from market price fluctuations, aquafaba is allergen-free and can provide legume distributors with an additional income stream.
Fabumin’s system includes an optimisation process that increases aquafaba’s emulsifying capability by up to 30 per cent, and the powder is so versatile that it’s usable in cosmetics, cultured meats, and more. As consumers learn to love the liquid gold that is aquafaba, animals and the environment stand to benefit from more sustainable protein production.
Written By: Keely Khoury