Research on aquafaba

Aquafaba has been a research topic of the Department of Molecular Food Technology since 2020.

A glass jar holding a sieve in which chickpeas are drained and aquafaba is collected. A can of chickpeas is shown in the background.
© Foto: Lea Mehren

Aquafaba = "Bean water"

Aquafaba is the name given to the cooking water of pulses. However, it often refers to the cooking water of chickpeas. In the past, this protein-rich liquid was discarded. In 2014, food blogger Joël Roessel discovered that aquafaba can be used to make foams similar to egg whites. Shortly afterward, food blogger Goose Wholt developed a recipe for vegan meringues, which quickly spread on social media. Aquafaba now functions as a plant-based egg substitute in vegan cuisine due to its good techno-functional properties.

Aquafaba became an internet phenomenon and the vegan community generated further application possibilities. The interest of researchers in the food sector was also aroused.

Possible applications

Due to its technological properties, aquafaba can be used as an emulsifier, gelling agent, thickener and foaming agent. The innovative ingredient now appears in many recipes: in blogs, forums and even in traditional cookery and baking books.

Aquafaba-based baked goods and confectionery are particularly popular. For example, chocolate mousse can be made with aquafaba. Vegan mayonnaise with aquafaba is now commercially available.

Researchers have already investigated the application of aquafaba in cakes, gluten-free bread, crackers and macarons, among other things.

A glass of chocolate mousse with raspberries
© Foto: Lea Mehren
A flask with fermented preculture
© Foto: Lena Elliger


In sensory aspects, plant-based substitutes must be able to keep up with their egg-based counterparts in terms of appearance, odor, taste and texture. However, pulses such as chickpeas have beany, musty and earthy notes, which are also perceived in aquafaba. The foaming properties of aquafaba were also rated lower than those of egg.

Microbial fermentation is one way to improve the foaming properties and flavor profile of aquafaba. For example, negatively perceived aroma components can be removed in this way. In addition, new components are generated that have a positive effect on the sensory properties.

Which ingredients and process steps influence the functional properties of aquafaba has not yet been conclusively clarified due to many influencing factors and therefore requires further research.

Awards and publications on this topic

  • Investigations into the foam and emulsion stability of aquafaba, bachelor thesis 2021
  • Upcycling residues from chickpea processing, bachelor thesis 2021
  • Use of aquafaba as an egg substitute in baked goods and desserts, bachelor thesis 2020 (Internationaler DLG-Sensorik Award 2021)
  • Influence of basidiomycete fermentation on the foaming properties and aroma profile of chickpea aquafaba for the application in Mousse au Chocolat, master thesis 2023 (Internationaler DLG-Sensorik Award 2023)


If you have any questions or requests for theses, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Avatar Mehren

Lea Mehren

M. Sc.


Avatar Schulze-Kaysers

Dr. Nadine Schulze-Kaysers


Wird geladen