A little more than a year ago I used this space to provide updates about the spread of avian influenza (AI) and its affect on the egg supply. I’m happy to report that today we have an entirely different story to tell, and it is due to the diligence and perseverance of the nation’s egg industry and its farmers.
There is now an ample supply of eggs and egg ingredients in all forms including shell eggs and further processed forms such as liquid, dried or frozen eggs, available to food processing firms, manufacturers and bakeries.
Part of this early resurgence in egg supply is due to egg facilities that remained free of AI during the contamination period. Certain unaffected locations were able to expand and grow their flocks. In fact the number of layers could exceed pre-AI levels by the end of the year and this surge in young, healthy birds also means more eggs.
The egg industry has implemented new practices as the results of the intense study and scrutiny devoted to the causes and prevention of AI, and the biosecurity safeguards and measures recommended by industry experts. The new safeguards are designed to help ensure the protection of a healthy and viable egg industry, to help stabilize the egg supply now and in the future.
Producing safe, quality eggs and egg products is a top priority – and egg farmers ensure safe eggs from the farm through processing and distribution. One way the egg industry demonstrates their commitment to egg safety is by producing a variety of pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized egg products that provide options for food manufacturers and foodservice outlets. The egg pasteurization process largely eliminates the existence of foodborne bacteria and pathogens, including Salmonella.
And in terms of protein, eggs offer formulators a unique option as one ingredient to include in popular protein snack packs, or as the protein-based component within salad kits. The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2016 Food and Health Survey reported 64 percent of consumers said they are trying to consume more protein, up from 54 percent in the 2015 survey.
The protein composition of egg products is responsible for many of the functional properties they supply to manufacturers. For example, both liquid and dried egg whites can aid with binding, whipping, aeration, foaming and structure... Overall egg ingredients supply more than twenty functional properties within formulation, and the abundant supply makes it the right time to take advantage of REAL eggs.
The American Egg Board recently posted a new, searchable online version of the Egg Product Buyers’ Guide. The intuitive system is searchable by company, product type or distribution region, designed to help companies find the best source for the specific type of egg product needed. For more information, view the Buyers’ Guide.