The avian flu outbreak is now being dubbed the worst in U.S. history. Since first discovered in late 2014, it's claimed more than 32 million birds in nearly one-third of America -- and one estimate says 85 percent of those affected birds egg-laying hens.
One-third of all shell eggs produced are broken, which means nearly 35 percent of the breaking egg industry’s production has been taken offline. This has not only increased costs but has limited egg supplies to processors at any price. Bakers, in particular, are fearing a shortage of egg products, including frozen, liquid and powdered eggs. So they're scrambling for egg replacement strategies.
Following are some egg replacement products that may help you through this crisis.
Many egg replacement solutions
As you face the challenges in today’s egg market, we’re ready to collaborate with you to develop formulations that will maintain the taste, color, stability and consistency your consumers expect. We have lots of solutions in our broad portfolio. Let us customize one for your application. A few examples include: Bakery (substitute egg functionality up to 100 percent in cookies, muffins, cakes, waffles and pancakes with Arcon soy concentrate, Soylec lecithinated soy flour and Prolite wheat protein isolate), Batter & Breadings (retain the taste of whole eggs with natural egg flavors that are free of partially hydrogenated oils), Dressings & Sauces (solve stability and oil retention issues using Clarisoy soy protein isolate up to 100 percent in your formula).
ADM: Decatur, Ill.
Two replacers for baked goods
Two egg replacement solutions for bakery goods are affordable and deliver a clean flavor and egg characteristics. Bro-Eg replaces whole eggs and acts as an extender, replacing up to 50 percent of whole eggs in cakes and batters and up to 100 percent in yeast products. Cara-Eg is designed to replace whole eggs, functioning as an egg stabilizer and extender. It replaces 25-50 percent of whole eggs in sweet goods and offers total egg replacement in yeast products.
Corbion Caravan; Lenexa, Kan.
Starch-based egg replacement
PenTech NG, a starch-based blend, is said to replace whole egg and egg yolks for both liquid and dry forms. It can be a cost-effective egg alternative for products with reduced calories, fat and cholesterol. It’s also non-allergenic and gluten-free. The blend’s soft texture, as well as batter viscosifier and moisture retention properties, are said to be ideal for bakery items, including fillings. For example, formulations calling for dried whole eggs and yolks can use 100 percent PenTech NG to replace the egg ingredients. Formulations calling for liquid whole eggs and yolks can use 12 percent PenTech NG and 88 percent water or liquid to replace all egg ingredients.
Penford Food Ingredients; Centennial, Colo.
Try wheat protein
Arise 6000 and Arise 8000 wheat protein isolates are said to be ideal for flour-based products such as bread and other bakery goods, pasta and noodles, and batters and breadings. Arise 6000 contains minimum protein of 85 percent decreases dough mix time, while increasing dough extensibility, water absorption, bread loaf volume and crumb firmness. It also increases the firmness of pasta and serves as an effective and economical replacement for egg white powder in retorted pasta. Arise 8000 averages a minimum 94 percent protein and also shows enhanced mixing capabilities, along with high viscoelastic properties.
MGP Ingredients; Atchison, Kan.
Replacement for cakes
Citri-Fi 200FG is 100 percent natural ingredient made from citrus pulp infused with guar gum. Citri-Fi has been shown to replace up to 30 percent of formula egg while maintaining the same quality, freshness and mouthfeel as a reference formulation. The multiple bonding mechanism enables the product to create stronger bonds between oil and water, so baked goods maintain functionality without increasing water activity. As a result, the product delivers the same or improved eating quality and texture but at a reduced cost.
Fiberstar Inc.; River Falls, Wis.
Eggs meet their match
Egg Match is a powdered egg replacer designed to provide egg structure and emulsification functionality in various food products. It blends easily with other dry ingredients to offer increased volume and symmetry. It can replace or reduce whole egg or egg yolk in pancakes, waffles, hush puppies, muffins, cookies and donuts. It also has applications in a wide range of foods requiring textural/structural integrity and strength. Its high activity performance will generate significant cost savings compared to eggs.
Kerry Americas; Beloit, Wis.
Soy flour, starches and functional systems
The company’s solutions can replace up to 50 percent of whole, white, or yolks in any bakery product. EmTex, a modified starch, can replace up to 25 percent of liquid whole eggs in cakes and pound cakes, 50 percent in muffins, 25-50 percent in pancakes, and 50-100 percent of egg solids in cookies. When used in functional blends, EmTex can also replace 100 percent of egg yolks in sauces and dressings. Prolia soy flour can be used to replace 25 percent of liquid whole eggs in muffins, 50-100 percent in cookies and 25-50 percent in cookies. Gelogen functional systems can replace up to 50 percent of liquid or powdered eggs in high ratio and angel food cakes.
Cargill Inc.; Wayzata, Minn.
Modified starches and proteins
Reduce your reliance on eggs with a wide range of egg replacement ingredient solutions based on modified starches. The PenNovo modified starches, N-Creamer modified starches, Purity Gum modified starches and Vitessence pulse proteins are said to successfully replace and/or reduce egg products in a variety of savory applications, such as mayonnaise and salad dressings, without compromising the visual and textural appeal of their food products, and with added benefits.
Ingredion Inc.; Westchester, Ill.
Replacement for waffles
Achieve the same sensory profile in waffles as whole liquid eggs with OptiSol 3000. A recent study revealed that waffles formulated with the ingredient demonstrated similar crumb, texture and moisture characteristics compared to the standard liquid egg waffle. The test waffle was made with a 5.5 percent reduction in whole liquid eggs by weight, using OptiSol 3000 in their place. Results showed the typical uniform cell structure expected of a waffle grid. The test waffle also demonstrated similar crust hardness and texture to the control, plus a more tender bite after freeze-thaw due to the water binding properties of the egg replacement ingredient. The all-natural ingredient is certified kosher, low in cholesterol, GMO-free and gluten-free.
Glanbia Nutritionals; Fitchburg, Wis.
The company says its pea protein is a viable replacement for egg powders and egg whites and also for soy and dairy in a wide range of products from pastas, crackers, salad dressing, cereal, smoothies and baked goods. Pisane pea proteins are non-dairy and benefits include: high protein content (88-90 percent); high digestibility of 98 percent; low in anti-nutritional factors; gluten-free; free from common allergens; no cholesterol, lactose or soya; naturally sourced; and GMO-free.
A&B Ingredients; Fairfield, N.J.
OvoLact 34 was developed not just to reduce egg ingredient costs but to provide the cleanest possible label declaration and characteristics perceived by the consumer to be as good or better than whole egg. Derived purely from milk, OvoLact 34 is formulated to perform the emulsification and gelling function in cake batters that are normally provided by whole egg. Benefits include: cost reduction, favorable crumb structure, reduced staling over shelf life, reduced egg quality variations, creamy flavor and texture, lower fat and cholesterol and a clean label.
Orchard Valley Foods; Worcestershire, England
+44 1584 811137; www.orchard-valley.co.uk