What's Actually In Just Egg's Plant-Based Scramble?

A bottle of Just Egg's plant-based egg substitute bears a strong resemblance to raw scrambled eggs. It has a pourable consistency that is somewhat viscous, and features a golden-yellow hue. With three tablespoons of this vegan mixture equating to one egg, it scrambles into recognizable eggy curds and can actually be used as a direct substitute in a wide range of recipes, including omelets, batters, doughs, and frittatas.

But what ingredients enable Just Egg to mimic real eggs in cooking? The main component, after water, is mung bean protein isolate. Mung beans — small, smooth, green, and oblong legumes — are a staple in Asian cuisine. They are versatile, being cooked into stews, mixed into salads, or sprouted for crunchy stir-fries and as toppings for Vietnamese pho. Although mung beans are rich in protein and various vitamins and minerals, Just Egg uses only the isolated protein from these beans.

The next significant component in Just Egg is canola oil, with the remaining 2% of the formulation comprising seasonings, salt, sugar, and preservatives such as potassium citrate and nisin. Gellen gum, tapioca syrup solids, transglutaminase, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate contribute to texture, emulsification, and stability. The color comes from the addition of carrot and turmeric.

How do Just Egg's ingredients compare to other egg substitutes?

There are essentially four categories of egg substitutes: liquid vegan eggs, ready-to-heat prepared vegan eggs, powdered substitutes, and pantry ingredients that can substitute for eggs in recipes. Just Egg's ready-to-heat folded eggs share a similar ingredients list with their liquid counterpart. Simply Eggless — which closely resembles Just Egg, and offers both liquid and prepared vegan eggs — differs by using sunflower oil and lupin protein instead. Lupin protein comes from lupini beans, which are popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

The food manufacturer Hodo concentrates on prepared vegan products, creating its egg scramble from soybeans and amping up the flavor with ingredients like nutritional yeast and black salt. The product WunderEggs, which resemble halved hard-boiled eggs, are made with almonds, cashews, coconut milk, and agar — an algae-based gelatin.

The powdered egg replacer Neat Egg is composed solely of ground chia seeds and garbanzo beans, but it's not suitable for scrambling and is best used in baking. Similarly, flaxseed and arrowroot powder can act as egg replacements in recipes, and, depending on the dish, so can bananas or applesauce. Aquafaba, the liquid from cooked beans, can even be whipped into a vegan meringue. With tons of options and numerous vegan hacks available online, it's worthwhile to experiment with several to discover the best egg substitutes for different occasions. It's also important to recognize that preferences for brands or methods may vary depending on the recipe.