Eggs Products Assist with Low‐Glycemic Formulating

There’s a great deal of buzz these days regarding glycemic carbohydrates.  Choosing carbohydrate‐rich foods based on the right carbohydrates — those that do not cause spikes in blood‐glucose levels — will be better for our health. Egg products can assist with formulating such foods, as most egg products are extremely low in carbohydrates. Their inclusion in foods typically does not affect carbohydrate content.

The carbohydrate‐blood glucose relationship and its potential impact on health is something diabetics know all too well. Further, in non‐diabetics, research suggests a possible correlation to sustainable weight loss, as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes and other diet‐related ailments including heart disease.

Glycemic carbohydrates are the carbohydrates in food that elicit a measurable glycemic response — change in blood glucose concentration — after ingestion. The only carbohydrates that can do this are classified as “available carbohydrates” or “net carbohydrates.”

Available carbohydrates are absorbed components such as glucose and fructose. These may have occurred in the food as such or as more complex molecules that were digested, such as starch, maltodextrin, sucrose, etc. However, some carbohydrates are only partially available due to the nature of the food matrix, degree of cooking or the nature of the carbohydrate itself. Simply, all available carbohydrates are glycemic carbohydrates.

A common measure of availability is post‐prandial blood glucose concentration (glycemic response). When consumers and popular authors talk about glycemic carbohydrates, they are usually referring to carbohydrates that cause a marked rise in blood glucose immediately after ingestion. Individuals with normal glucose tolerance can rapidly clear this glucose from the bloodstream. Thus use of glycemic carbohydrate can lead to misinterpretation, since it is often talking only about carbohydrates with a glycemic response that is high, and not merely about possessing the capacity to induce a glycemic response.

It is important to note that many products formulated to be sugar‐free, low‐sugar or no sugar‐added are not necessarily going for a low‐glycemic claim. However, reducing or eliminating sugar is a step in the right direction, especially since research indicates that Americans are trying to cut back on their sugar intake.

Formulators interested in developing foods with a low‐glycemic impact are seeking out ingredients that contribute no to minimal available carbohydrates. Most egg products are just that. And, of course, egg products are all‐natural, highly functional and an excellent source of high‐quality protein.

2010-12-15 14:22:44

Eggs Products: The Natural Solution to Product Stabilization

The term stabilizer, as related to food and beverage manufacturing, is vague. It takes on a meaning of its own, depending on the application. However, in general, stabilizers “stabilize” food. This suggests that the stabilizer contributes to the uniformity or consistency of a product under a variety of conditions encountered during processing,
storage or use.

There are an array of ingredients in the marketplace that function as stabilizers for specific applications. Few are as natural and label friendly as egg products. In fact, egg products can perform more than 20 distinct functions in foods, many of which are characterized as stabilization. Furthermore, unlike many chemical‐sounding stabilizing ingredients, egg products can simplify and enhance ingredient statements. Consumers know eggs, and are comfortable with eggs. Their inclusion in foods suggests that the product is natural and wholesome.

In some applications, egg products preclude separation of blended ingredients by slowing or preventing the movement of particles, either droplets of immiscible liquids, air or insoluble solids. Depending on the application, this function can be described as either a thickening of solution or gelation. With the former, egg products are able to increase viscosity, which slows the separation of ingredients in a food formulation. The latter, gelation, occurs when the protein in egg products forms a three‐dimensional network that traps the ingredient particles, thereby immobilizing them.

Though egg products thicken and create gel, they are best known as being emulsifiers. What makes them such great emulsifiers is that once they emulsify two immiscible (i.e., oil and water) substances, they also assist in maintaining the emulsion.

Egg products do the same with foams, which are gas‐in‐liquid products. The egg proteins help create the foam, which results in a lighter, airier product. They then help maintain the aerated structure throughout the product’s shelf life.

There are also numerous examples of how egg products bind the components and ingredients of foods, keeping the food “stable.” For example, egg yolks are a natural protein binder for noodles, which is particularly useful in par‐cooked pastas sold refrigerated under modified packaging conditions, or in prepared foods — refrigerated or frozen.

In frozen pasta, as well as an array of other frozen foods — even something as simple as pizza crust, egg products provide stabilization by preventing ice crystallization. This is particularly true in frozen desserts such as ice cream and soft‐serve yogurt. If a low‐fat claim is being pursued, egg white products are an ideal frozen dessert ingredient.

2010-12-02 04:43:32