In the wake of Covid-19 and its disruption to food supply chains across the world—exposing fragilities in our global food security—Singapore-based food technology start-up Float Foods today announced a breakthrough in its bid to join the race for innovation in alternative proteins with its debut plant-based protein product, OnlyEg, Asia’s first commercial plant-based whole egg substitute, that offers both an egg yolk and egg white replacement.
Developed with proprietary technology created by Float Foods’ in-house research and development team led by founder and CEO Vinita Choolani, the announcement comes on the back of successful proofs-of-concept established during positive engagement with accredited local organisations in the fields of research and innovation including Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), food incubator Innovate 360 and Singapore Polytechnic Food Innovation and Resource Centre (FIRC) – all of whom have been highly supportive in optimising the development of OnlyEg.
The OnlyEg for your health
Another key component of Float Foods’ plant-based food ecosystem is a “food as medicine” approach – where the nutritional benefits of OnlyEg is being developed to be higher than that of a chicken egg. OnlyEg will also be able to offer versatility, functionality and nutritional value that matches that of a whole chicken egg, while mitigating the potential for animal-to-human disease transmission, hormones or antibiotics residue and supply chain disruption; reducing our carbon footprint and land use while adding to food diversity – all of which Choolani believes will be critical in ensuring adoption by the mainstream consumer.
Forged in a pandemic
The conviction to health stems from Choolani having spent the past decade helping catapult INEX INNOVATE from a Singapore biotech start-up to Asia’s leading women’s innovation health care company with a valuation of US $72 million in 2019.
The idea of a plant-based egg which sparked off Float Foods, however, took place in the thick of Singapore’s nationwide “circuit breaker” lockdown when Choolani experienced first-hand the detrimental effects Covid-19 had on Singapore’s food supply chain, with eggs flying off supermarket shelves amid bouts of panic buying, as well as rising food safety concerns around the world and close to home.
A leap towards “30 by 30”
In fact, Choolani aims to push the plant-based movement with a focus on egg and dairy-free segments to contribute towards this goal. In the pipeline for commercialisation across the next two years are dairy-free alternative proteins for yoghurt, cheese and milk, and a line of plant-based egg patty and shredded eggs.
Asia to date remains the biggest consumers in chicken eggs. With Singaporeans consuming almost 2 billion chicken eggs annually, of which more than 70 per cent are currently imported from Malaysia, OnlyEg’s local roots puts Singapore a leap closer to its goal to achieve 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030
Float Foods has completed proofs-of-concept for OnlyEg and other alternative proteins products including plant-based yoghurt, cheese and blended egg patties and shreds. The start-up is currently raising capital through a Series A round as it gears OnlyEg for commercial readiness by 2022, with support from Singapore’s leading research and innovation agencies. A series of proprietary and licensed plant-based products will be released in phases across the next two years.