Clara Foods chicken free egg white ready to jump from lab to shelf

Clara Foods chicken free egg white ready to jump from lab to shelf

Five years after its founding, Clara Foods is making a major breakthrough in the lab in 2020 by incorporating its technology into products that may soon appear on store shelves.

The California manufacturer of chicken-free egg whites expects the ingredient to be used in protein drinks and supplements before Clara Foods launches an egg substitute in products such as bakery products or chewers in 2021.

“I don’t think there has been a better time in history to be a component company focused on developing animal-free products,” said Arturo Elizondo, CEO of Clara Foods for Food Dive. “Ultimately, our number one goal is to make the most impact possible, and we can do this by working with [food and beverage] companies who really want to stay on top of their game.”

Arturo Elizondo

Authorized by Clara Foods

Elizondo said that when Clara Foods was founded in 2015, there were only a handful of other animal-free businesses – including meat, impossible food and the perfect day – and the consumer demand for such products had not yet sustained today. People doubted that these companies would be interested in their objects outside of their San Francisco base, he said. As a result, CPGs had little incentive to include plants, cells, or other foods of the new age in their offerings.

“We had to get in touch with companies early to ask if we were interested in the job, and now we get incoming requests after the big companies said, ‘Look, you know, the industry is moving very fast, how can we catch up? How can we innovate? How can we produce our products according to the wishes of consumers? “” Elizondo remarked.

In response to whether the animals are more sustainable or less fashionable, start-ups have had to convince food and beverage manufacturers that their technology is something they want to use, and if so, consumers will buy Products.

According to Elizondo, they also had to eliminate the notion that it did not taste good or lacked taste and functional properties in animal companions. Then the idea was that it’s expensive to promote products that are healthy, sustainable, or ethical, which is not true.

“The challenge for the food industry is how to break this compromise,” he said.

Clara Food’s technology creates an egg-protein alternative with fermentation techniques similar to breweries and trendy startups like Impossible Foods. Just as brewers convert yeast into sugar, or as Impossible produces signature heme protein with microfungi, Clara uses yeast to produce proteins that have the same genetic profile as an egg. This creates a component that has the same texture, taste and functionality as its animal counterpart.

“I don’t think there has been a better time in history to be a company that produces ingredients that focus on developing animal-free products. Ultimately, our number one goal is to make the most impact, and that is cooperation [food and drink] companies that really want to stay on top of their game. “

Arturo Elizondo

CEO, Clara Foods

According to Elizondo, the company plans to continue working on other parts of the egg for the time being, even though it may incorporate the technology used into other proteins, such as milk or meat.

“We focused on egg white because it’s an incredibly useful and functional ingredient,” said Elizondo. “But in the end, eggs have a lot of potential,” as many consumers turn to protein.

Clara Foods’ work has aroused the interest of big players in food and ingredients. Last year, it closed a $ 40 million financing agreement with investors, including Grupo Bimbo and Ingredion Bakery, a partnership that aims to develop, market and distribute highly functional companies. protein ingredients.

Clara Foods is not the only animal-free food area that has been working in the laboratory for years, but is now at the cutting edge of displaying consumer products on shelves and menus.

Motif FoodWorks, which is working on rebuilding milk, egg and meat proteins, said it was on board to launch the products in 2021. And nearly eight months after offering its own ice cream, animal-free milk protein for a limited period, Perfect Day is preparing for a major launch – the first in a series of product lines launched in 2020 that is expected to exceed frozen foods.

“I think the greatest change in faith in space is by far,” said Elizondo, a five-year-old with Clara Foods. So many companies are “focusing on developing animal-free products because the market is proven”.