A team of Ph.D. student scientists is using their collective research and experience to create keto-friendly bread products. They are spending this summer fine-tuning their recipes, product testing, and preparing to launch their startup, YetoBread. This all-women team has slightly different motivations for diving into the keto-diet food market.  

Tianxia Xiao came up with the idea of developing a better keto-bread than those currently on the market. An accomplished baker and a graduate student of chemistry, she studies yeasts and ketogenic diets in her lab. Combining her passion and knowledge, she set out to create an inexpensive, sustainable ketogenic bread.

“The majority of keto-breads are nut-based and do not effectively mimic the texture of traditional bread,” said Xiao. There is also an expensive factor economically and environmentally when producing nut-based products due to the tremendous amounts of water they require during cultivation. “Our product resolves this dilemma by providing consumers with a ketogenic bread that leverages a scientifically novel strategy to produce a product with low material cost and minimal environmental externalities,” she explained—YetoBread’s secret sauce.

Alexis Cowan is pursuing her Ph.D. in molecular biology and has also attended culinary school, a perfect fit for the YetoBread team. “I think my background brings a unique perspective that encompasses both pragmatism and scientific understanding to the team,” said Cowan. Personally, she, like so many people today, finds both physical and mental benefits from maintaining a high-fat, low protein, low carbohydrate Keto diet.  

Zoey Wang is the social scientist on the team. She studies social inequity, health disparity, food insecurity, and related policies. She also has a background in economics and sociology, which brings the team an understanding of both markets and human behavior; extremely valuable contributions.

The team recently held a pop-up event on campus to get some feedback on their current product line. “Our visitors absolutely loved everything and wanted to know when we would open for business,” gushed Wang.

Dietary manipulation is a natural and powerful way to address many health concerns. The team’s understanding of the broad implications of a keto-based diet in not only the treatment of pathologies including epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, but also in health optimization like appetite suppression, enhanced cognition, and improved body composition is an inspiring factor for them all to get YetoBread to market.

Join us on August 11th for the eLab Demo Day to see how this team develops their affordable, tasty, keto-friendly bread products.

Listen to the podcast Decelerator and get an inside view of the eLab Accelerator from our Summer Associates Alison Lee '24 and Bella Racioppi '23.