Agriculture and livestock generate 23% of the greenhouse gases responsible for the climate crisis. But their production is not entirely dedicated to feeding people. In Brazil, 79% of the protein produced is used to feed animals, explains the young Amanda Pinto. "If humanity does not change its eating habits, we will have to increase meat production by around 70%. This is absolutely unsustainable. We would be able to feed more people if we weren't in the habit of eating so many meat products," she adds.
To tackle the environmental problems of the food industry and help reduce world hunger, Pinto has created n.ovo, a start-up specializing in plant-based products that can be used to replace eggs in all kinds of recipes. Thanks to this initiative, Pinto has been chosen by MIT Technology Review in Spanish as one of the winners Innovators under 35 Latin America 2020.
n.ovo has already launched a plant-based powder to which water is added to replace eggs in cooking, and three types of vegan and gluten-free mayonnaises. Pinto is also working on a plant-based liquid to make vegan scrambled eggs. These three products are also ideal for people who have an egg intolerance. "We use a lot of food to plant grain to feed an animal and get to humans. If the grain goes straight to humans, you feed more people," the young innovator explains.
The company is a spin-off of Grupo Mantiqueira, the largest egg producer in South America, founded by Pinto's father. "From the inside, I could see that the world could be fed in a better way. I want a better world and to keep my family in business. If we innovate, we can go further and do things better," says the innovator.
Lorena Pedraza, a professor from the Department of Chemical Sciences and Engineering of the Universidad Iberoamericana de México and member of the jury of Innovators under 35 Latin America 2020, believes that, unlike other vegan substitutes for animal products from plant-based proteins, Pinto "has sought to make her product similar to those of animal origin so that consumers prefer it" using an "innovative product."