Molecular Sensory Guided Flavor Improvement of Plant-Based Egg

A research project of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in cooperation with Lovely Day Foods


Developing outstanding egg alternatives is considered the "supreme discipline" in R&D. This is because eggs not only fulfill a variety of functionalities in different recipes, they are also characterized by a distinctive taste. Recreating this authentic egg taste in plant-based alternative products is a major challenge, as the plant-based raw materials used often have their own intense flavors. Attempts are therefore currently being made to mask these tastes and imitate an egg flavor by adding flavorings. Within the framework of the ZHAW project, a novel approach is now to be researched in order to reproduce the taste of the animal original even more naturally and authentically.

Optimization of the flavor profile

The so-called "sensomics" method is to be used, by means of which key flavor substances are first identified at the molecular level. In a second step, the obtained profiles of the animal product can then be compared with those of animal-free alternatives to describe the "flavor gap". Finally, raw materials will be screened for that bring the missing flavors (or their precursors) to complete the flavor of the plant-based ice cream. Special attention will be paid to natural raw materials in order to reduce or avoid the addition of flavors. The aim of the research project is thus to achieve a full-bodied egg flavor of animal-free alternatives through targeted adaptation of the recipe or processing and thus to further increase the attractiveness of such products.

Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Project Manager: Prof. Dr. Irene Chetschik

Cooperation partner: Lovely Day Foods GmbH