- Ginkgo Bioworks will be working with Evo Foods to create and scale animal-free egg proteins through precision fermentation. Evo Foods currently makes plant-based eggs in India, and company co-founder and CEO Kartik Dixit said in an email they want to create these proteins to use in Evo's products.
- Evo Foods is using a Ginkgo Bioworks Cell Development Kit — a package of services designed to simplify the process of creating a customized organism. Ginkgo's scientists will work closely with Evo to develop the proteins.
- Ginkgo works to use biology to enhance all industries, from food to pharma to fragrance. It developed the Cell Development Kit program last year as a seamless way to work with other companies.
Precision fermentation is becoming a more popular way to create food ingredients, but it takes some deep science and the correct equipment to make it happen. Organisms like yeast are modified so that they create the target protein when fermented. According to the Good Food Institute's 2021 industry report on fermentation, there are 39 food companies using precision fermentation to create a product, and several finished products using these proteins have become available to consumers.
Ginkgo Bioworks specializes in enabling deep sciences for a variety of industries, and has been working to demonstrate to players in the food space that it can help them achieve desired end results. In the first quarter of 2022, Ginkgo has started working on 11 new projects using science to develop new cells, CEO and co-founder Jason Kelly said this week on the company's most recent earnings call. The companies it is working with range from agriculture to pharmaceutical to natural food colors, but the same kind of science can be applied to all of them.
Dixit said in an email that the first aim of working with Evo will be to produce egg protein at a consistently high quality. They will work to test the proteins in a variety of formulations to get feedback about the next best uses. The current thought is to use the proteins in Evo products, but there may be other opportunities to provide a standalone ingredient.
Evo Foods launched in India in 2019. The company was founded by Dixit, who also founded a cell-based meat company in India, and Mumbai vegetarian restaurateur Shraddha Bhansali. They currently use India-grown legumes — including mung bean, pea and chickpea — to make a liquid egg substitute. The company recently created a plant-based heat and eat boiled egg product, and it plans a U.S. expansion in foodservice this year.
While Evo's current plant-based portfolio has generated positive feedback, adding actual egg proteins to its products would take the company to another level. A few companies are making plant-based egg products, but only The Every Company has scaled animal-free egg proteins enough to offer them as ingredients. In October, The Every Company first offered Every ClearEgg — now known as Every Protein — which is a highly soluble, tasteless, odorless, nearly colorless and highly nutritious protein found in small quantities in egg whites. In March, the company launched Every EggWhite, a functional protein that can foam and thicken like chicken egg whites.
This partnership could take animal-free eggs a step further. So far, Every's egg proteins haven't made it to a product that would stand in for chicken eggs on their own — though they may get to one made by another company, since Every is an ingredient company and it has not announced plans to create finished products under its own brand.
Regardless, there are many proteins in eggs. Scientists have found 150 in egg whites and 119 in egg yolks. There are many options for protein and product development through precision fermentation. Through this partnership, Evo and Ginkgo could create a hybrid product that is entirely new and different, and even more similar to the chicken eggs it seeks to replace.
This story has been updated to reflect the rebrand of Every Protein.