Egg replacers and avian flu

by Charlotte Atchley
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Last year’s outbreak of avian influenza (AI) resulted in the loss of about 37 million chickens, most of them laying hens. With a shortage of eggs, some bakers turned to egg extenders or replacers in a shaky egg market and skyrocketing prices.

“The interest to reduce or eliminate egg ingredients was urgent for bakers with a fear that the egg supply may not be available for an unforeseen period of time,” Kathy Sargent, market manager, sweet baked goods, Corbion Caravan.

As the egg industry recovers, Ms. Sargent sees some bakers remaining with their egg replacers and other returning to egg ingredients, but not without a contingency plan in case of another outbreak.

Corbion Caravan offers a wide variety of solutions for varying degrees of egg replacement, whether extending, reducing or replacing eggs. The Functional Plus line offers more substantial egg replacement for whole eggs and egg whites while the egg extender line can partially or completely replace whole eggs.

Cargill’s egg replacement toolbox includes soy flour, starches and functional systems that can replace up to 50% of whole eggs, egg whites or yolks in bakery products. Most cookies, muffins and brownies using liquid or powdered whole eggs can replace up to 50% of eggs without any adjustment when using Cargill’s starches, according to Bill Gilbert, certified master baker and principal food technologist, Cargill. Other functional systems can replace 100% of egg yolks in cake donuts, 75% in cakes and 50% in angel food cakes.

Arla Food Ingredients adapted whey proteins to replace egg functionality while maintaining a clean label. “Our whey protein egg replacers are easy to use in production with no pre-blending or cooling required,” said John Gelley, US sales manager, for the company. Whey proteins can mimic quality, taste and texture provided by eggs.
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