If you were to ask Clara Foods CEO Arturo Elizondo what came first, the chicken or the egg, the answer you’d get is probably not the weighty philosophical waxing you might expect from a former intern for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer.
Instead, chances are you’d probably hear about how it’s time to do away with the factory farming system we currently use to produce the trillion plus eggs consumed annually and how he may just have the answer for how to do that.
That answer would be Clara Foods, the company Elizondo cofounded with Dave Anchel in 2014 after the two struck up a conversation at a conference. It wasn’t long after that first conversation before the two were working on their idea for using microbial fermentation to create eggs without the chicken as part of biotech accelerator Indiebio‘s inaugural cohort.
Fast forward almost seven years and Clara released their first product in 2020 – a digestive supplement. The company plans on launching its second product later this year, a protein targeted at protein beverage market. After that, the company will release it’s flagship product, an egg white replacement.
But Elizondo doesn’t plan to stop there. When I talked to the Clara Foods CEO for the Food Tech Show, one of the first questions I asked was whether Clara’s technology could emulate more than just a chicken egg. The answer is yes.
“We wanted to have a real kick ass platform that is not just a chicken egg plant protein platform, or an egg protein platform, but a true animal protein production platform, so that we can flex in and out of different products,” said Elizondo.
From there, he and Clara hope to bring forth new flavors and combinations that aren’t even possible with old fashioned eggs.
“We’re truly entering the age of molecular food,” said Elizondo. “Not just molecular gastronomy, but instead how do we leverage the molecular element of it in producing the next generation of ingredients to build food 2.0 with new textures, new properties, new flavors that are not even possible to achieve right now with our current animals as a technology?”