My favorite question during Sunday brunch is: how do you like your eggs?
I like them scrambled, but little did I know that this mean protein does much more than satiate my appetite. The scientists and foodies at Hampton Creek Foods, a San Francisco startup that’s reinventing what it means to eat plants for breakfast, clued “TechKnow” in on some surprising facts. First and foremost, an egg has 22 distinct functions.
Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek’s CEO, and Josh Klein, the company’s director of biochemistry, are on a “search and discovery mission” to see if they can mimic the functions of an egg using plants.
“Of the 1.8 trillion eggs that are laid every year, about a third end up in food products,” Tetrick says. “A part of what we do is to search for plants that are better than the chicken egg in doing all those things.”
They’ve had success with the yellow pea, which is the base for the company’s newest product, Just Mayo.
Here’s a look at six of our favorite ways an egg can make or break a meal.
Aeration is a process that forces air through a liquid or viscous solution; it’s all about creating more volume. An egg white is about 90 percent water and 10 percent protein. So, when someone beats an egg white, foam forms trapped air bubbles that increase the height and density of a food. Whipped egg whites can foam to eight times its original volume, giving lemon meringue pie the desired height.