Protein-packed recovery and renewal
May 31, 2016
by Charlotte Atchley
Dairy and egg ingredients deliver nutrition and function.
Formulators can distill their powerhouse properties to isolate them as they
want, or they can take advantage of all these ingredients have to offer.
Egg products continue to recover from last year’s avian influenza
(AI) outbreak. At the beginning of this year, half of the laying hens lost to
the outbreak had been replaced, and the Egg Industry Center predicted that full
stocks may occur by mid-2016 if the current pace of recovery remains on pace.
“The egg market is recovering quite well from last year’s AI
outbreaks,” said Jonathan Spurway, vice-president of marketing, Rembrandt Inc. “Most
farms are on track to be fully repopulated by the end of 2016, ahead of what
was originally estimated. In terms of pricing, the market recovered quicker
than most experts believed it would."
After prices tripled to record highs this past summer due to tight
supply, they have fallen sharply as egg production recovered. Year-end prices for
breaking eggs were below both pre-AI and year-ago levels, but prices for egg
products were still largely above pre-AI levels. Going forward, the egg
industry is working to protect its supplies from another such crisis.
“US egg farmers are pleased with the overall recovery after the
avian influenza crisis and are committed to sustaining a healthy and viable egg
industry,” said Chad Gregory, president, United Egg Producers. “Together with
their stakeholders, farmers are working diligently to protect their flocks and
maintain high levels of biosecurity on their farms to prevent disease while
focusing on a swift and full restoration of US egg production.”
Dairy ingredient prices are also down thanks to increased supply. Milk
production in the US for February was up 4.6% from February 2015, and low
exports are keeping that supply in the US.
This may be concerning for suppliers, but bakers can take
advantage of the nutritive and functional advantages of these ingredients at
Eggs and dairy ingredients deliver a plethora of nutritional
benefits, including high levels of protein and a multitude of vitamins and
One egg provides 13 vitamins and minerals and 6 g protein at 70
Cal. Commercial bakers use eggs in bulk powdered or liquid form in whole,
whites-only and yolks-only styles, rather than shell eggs. While the
protein-rich whites are enormously popular in fast-food settings, the fact
remains that whole eggs are a nutrient-dense ingredient. Among the vitamins and
minerals eggs are the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and they provide a
food source of vitamin D.
Proteins present in eggs include many necessary for the human body
to function. “Eggs provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food
available — a perfect 1.0, according to the Protein Digestibility Corrected
Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), meaning egg protein contains all of the essential
amino acids in a readily bioavailable form,” said John Howeth, senior
vice-president, foodservice and egg product marketing, American Egg Board.
These acids, the building blocks for proteins, are termed “essential”
because the human body does not create them on its own. Therefore, they must be
obtained via diet. Because eggs present many such amino acids in a high digestible
matrix, they are a vehicle for fulfilling this nutritional need.
Dairy ingredients similarly provide a wealth of protein to the
human body. “Whey protein is a 100% natural product that is extremely low in
calories, cholesterol and fat,” said John Gelley, US sales manager, Arla Foods
Ingredients. “At the same time, it also contains a high amount of all the
essential amino acids — in excess of the WHO/FAO recommendations, in fact.”
Whey is a by-product of cheesemaking and retains about 20% of the
total milk proteins, practically all of its water-soluble vitamins and
minerals, and most of its lactose and noncasein proteins. “Because whey protein
has an un-rounded PDCAAS greater than one, it can be used alone or in blends to
support protein-content claims expressed as percent of daily value without any Food
and Drug Administration-mandated corrections for protein quality,” said Craig
Sherwin, research director, Davisco.
To improve on the nutritional value of its whey protein
ingredients, Davisco removed less desirable components such as lactose and fat,
which improves nutrient density without adding anything to the ingredient. “By
purifying proteins found naturally in milk, dairy companies have created highly
nutrient-dense ingredients that are perfect for protein fortification,” Mr.
Davisco’s whey protein isolate with the highest purity contains
97.5% protein and the highest levels of branched chain amino acids, (BCAA)
which promote lean body mass. The whey protein isolate also does not contain
the casein fraction, therefore maximizing BCAA content.
Agropur has seen the biggest enhancement in its dairy and egg ingredients
from further processing the eggs and dairy and through farming and harvesting
practices. Agropur Ingredients has pursued more organically raised sources and
the removal of GMOs. “On the other side with the advancements in technology, we
are able to further process these products by fractionating certain components
of both egg and dairy,” said Phil Blanchard, bakery manager, Agropur.
Dairy ingredients aren’t limited to whey, however. “Dairy can come
into play from a variety of products — non-fat, buttermilk, whey proteins,
cultured dairy, whole milk, etc.,” Mr. Blanchard said. “Like the Egg, dairy
ingredients can bring in a lot of protein, healthy fats, as well as important
vitamins and minerals. In addition to those, dairy ingredients can also bring a
lot of natural sugars removing to need for more added sugars.”
More recognizable to the end consumer are cheese, cream and
butter. Not only do these add flavor and clean up a food’s ingredient list,
they also bring with them fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins.
“Dairy ingredients made with real cheese, cream and butter are
commonly used in many bakery products to add nutritive value where a
formulation may lack some essential amino acids and minerals,” said Diane
Kussy, R&D technical services manager at Land O’Lakes Ingredients.
The fats in dairy ingredients deliver satiety and help people feel
full on less. On top of the protein benefit, these ingredients are natural
sources of calcium and vitamin D.
Land O’Lakes Ingredients has formulated its dairy ingredients
without partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavoring and includes a line
of dairy ingredients with no FD&C colors. There are also solutions with
lower sodium levels. “If product developers are looking for a cheese flavor to
incorporate into their bakery application, we’ll often combine cheese
ingredients with other dairy ingredients such as whey, nonfat dry milk and whey
protein concentrate to provide an economical and well-balanced cheese seasoning,”
Ms. Kussy said.
Such compound ingredients help bakers and snack producers get the
most out of flavors and other dairy ingredients not only in nutrition but also
on their ingredient labels.
Bursting with functionality
Dairy and eggs also provide plenty of function to formulations.
Both ingredients provide a wealth of different properties, and the specific parts
of the egg and individual proteins in dairy products can be separated out for
“When eggs are included as an ingredient, their primary role is
functionality, not nutrition,” Mr. Howeth said. “Egg ingredients do not greatly
influence the nutrition label of the finished baked product because they’re
used at low levels in most bakery formulations.”
However, eggs can deliver more than 20 different functions. “Egg
products supply food manufacturers with great taste and incredible
functionality, such as emulsification, aeration, binding or coagulation, and
often perform multiple roles within a single application,” he continued. That’s
in addition to egg’s, foaming and whipping properties.
Each part of the egg, the yolk and the white, contribute to these
properties, and bakers can isolate those parts of the egg based on their needs.
The proteins in egg whites help trap air, prevent staling and provide strength
to a baked good’s structure. The protein’s conalbumin, globulins, ovalbumin and
ovomucin lend egg whites the ability to foam six to eight times greater in
volume than the original liquid. Apply heat in the form of baking, and these
proteins form a reinforced network to build strength and maintain volume.
Many egg yolk proteins are effective emulsifiers having a
combination of amino acids that like water and others that like the lipid or
oil phase. Emulsifiers aid in formation of small air bubbles during mixing,
which promotes batter aeration and results in increased final volume of the
cake. “When egg proteins are physically mixed and heated, they begin to unfold
or denature and establish a cross-linked network to hold in gases, creating a
relatively stable foam of tiny air bubbles, which help to create crumb
structure in the baked cake,” Mr. Howeth said.
The form egg ingredients take can also be beneficial. “While eggs
have been traditionally used in baked goods, improved egg product functionality
can present some opportunities,” Mr. Spurway said. “Dried egg products can be
used in substitution for liquid egg products to reduce refrigeration
needs/costs, reduce shelf life concerns associated with liquid egg products and
still maintain the desired functionality.”
Another example he gave was high whip dried egg whites can improve
cake height, whipping or whip stability in angel food cake or meringue cookies.
Enzyme modified egg products, such as Rembrandt’s egg product line, can provide
higher emulsification properties in baked goods. “This could be a good option
for customers in the gluten-free space that rely on eggs to help maintain
texture and structure to baked goods,” he said.
Dairy ingredients can have an impact on dough absorption, mixing,
fermentation rate and baking times. They can improve structure, texture, color
and dough volume. Depending on the type of dairy ingredient chosen, bakers can
accomplish many things at once.
“Denatured whey proteins add functionality such as moisture
retention, fat reduction and emulsification,” Mr. Blanchard said. “Low-protein
whey helps reduce fat, sugar and salt without compromising flavor, and
combining whey protein with fibers can mimic eggs’ complex functionality.”
Proteins not only provide nutrition, but they also link together
to create the structure of baked goods. That’s what makes the proteins in dairy
ingredients so effective. “Whey protein is among the most soluble of food
proteins, and this makes working with it in baking applications very easy,” Mr.
Sherwin said. “Some proteins are very slow to hydrate or require a lot of extra
water, and this can make the dough or batter sticky and difficult to bake,
yielding a poor texture.”
Just as egg whites and yolks carry different properties and can be
separated for optimal functionality, proteins in dairy ingredients also can
perform unique functions. Arla Food Ingredients practices this to provide
formulators with options when it comes to dairy ingredients. “Our proteins are
separated to isolate the type of protein required for a specific application
where a certain functionality is required,” Mr. Gelley said. “We tailor our
whey protein solutions to specific applications and formulas to meet our
customers’ exact requirements.”
Arla Food Ingredients has been using dairy ingredients in
innovative ways, for example, as a crust glazing agent in place of eggs or whey
protein as protein enrichment that doesn’t compromise taste or texture.
The fats and lactose in dairy ingredients also aid in function.
Fat contributes to tenderness, richness and mouthfeel while lactose leads to
sweet caramel flavor and golden brown color. “In addition to improving flavor
and enhancing browning, dairy ingredients also improve water-binding capacity,
allowing the bakery product to remain fresher longer,” Ms. Kussy said.
With so many versatile functions and packed with
nutrition, dairy and egg ingredients can be important assets to bakery