Will People Eat Synthetic Eggs?

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
February 26, 2014

Photo credit: StockFood

Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, seems fairly clever with his investments; he was an early backer of both Facebook and Spotify. So the news that he’s just sunk $23 million into fake eggs piqued our interest. Silicon Valley-based Hampton Creek, the recipient of Ka-Shing’s investment, trades in fake eggs and fake mayo. 

At Hampton Creek, Fast Company reports, they have “deconstructed the egg, analyzed its 22 special functions, and replicated it with plant-stuffs like sunflower lecithin, canola, peas, and natural gums from tree sap.” The product doesn’t look like an egg, either: “It’s sold as a gray-green powder that you need to hydrate before use.”

Eggs are so delicious that the thought of fake ones gives most food-loving folks pause, but it turns out there’s a big demand for egg-like substances, particularly in packaged baking mixes where their lack of eggy flavor is less noticeable. The two-year-old company “boasts deals with six Fortune 500 retailers and food manufacturers,” reports Wired. 

Well, yikes. Wired reporter Kyle Vanhemert sampled the fake eggs, and found them rather lacking. They were “a little chewy, definitely, and oddly tasteless. “If it was served to me at a restaurant, I’d send it back; if I encountered it while hungover I’d probably inhale it without thinking twice.”

That sounds about right. We’d like to say that we’d scoff at an egg-like substance, but there are certain Sunday mornings on which we may not have even noticed what landed in our bacon-egg-and-cheese. 

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[Via Wired]