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Mung Beans The Unsung Heroes of Plant-Based Proteins

A recent Monash University study into the protein potential of Mung beans turned up positive potential as a powerful planetary protein.

Mung beans, a staple in Asian culinary traditions, are a formidable contender in the alternative protein market.

Mung Beans

Source: Public Domain

Often overshadowed by more common legumes like chickpeas and lentils, these small, green beans are making a name for themselves beyond traditional soups and stir-fries.

Renowned for their versatility, mung beans possess a mild taste, compared by some to the over stated flavour of dried peas or pea isolate. This quality makes them an excellent base for a variety of dishes, from savory pancakes to sweet desserts and also the primary protein inside a plant meat product.

Their nutritional profile is just as impressive with the study indicating the humble mung bean also offers a slightly higher concentration of beneficial antioxidants compared to their unsprouted counterparts.

In the United States, mung beans have been quietly lining the shelves of natural food stores and some larger chains, available in both packaged and bulk forms. The more familiar form, mung bean sprouts, is recognised as a crunchy, white staple found in many Asian stir-fries, readily available in the produce aisles of supermarkets.

However, the true potential of mung beans is being unlocked in innovative plant-based alternatives to animal products.

A prime example is 'Just Egg', a liquid concoction that uses mung bean protein as its main ingredient. Combined with canola oil, natural coloring agents from carrots and turmeric, and a blend of other ingredients, 'Just Egg' mimics the appearance and flavor of scrambled eggs, catering to a growing demand for plant-based options.

Just Egg

Source: Just Egg

This writer is currently at 35,000 after just served scrambled tofu for breakfast - the liquid egg would have a far better alternative.

Plant based poached egg

Source: YoEgg

The introduction of 'Just Egg' marks a significant step in the diversification of meat alternatives. While other plant-based egg substitutes exist, such as 'Vegg' and the worlds only plant-based poached egg, YoEgg, which is believed to utilise soy and algal proteins, the use of mung bean protein highlights the legume's potential in a market ripe for innovation.

As sustainability becomes an increasingly critical concern, and more consumers seek out plant-based diets, mung beans are poised to become a key player in the global shift towards more ethical and environmentally-friendly eating habits.

The Monash review highlights the promising application of both lentil and mungbean proteins as sustainable plant-based protein sources for human food applications.

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