Egg Products: Always a Safe Choice

Food manufacturers can have confidence in the egg product supply, as all further-processed and packaged egg products sold in the United States are pasteurized according to strict standards to ensure their safety. Quality control departments require that each and every egg product meets federal, state and internal safety checks. Eggs products make the grade…always.

The egg product safety record assures food processors of the knowledge that they are using a safe ingredient when including further processed, pasteurized eggs. The nutritional and functional power of eggs is supplied by nature, while the safety record is provided by producers’ hard work and conscientious effort to implement best practices.

Government and private industries work together to achieve this safety record, which conforms to the Egg Products Inspection Act that Congress passed in 1970. The Act requires all egg products distributed for consumption to be pasteurized to destroy Salmonella. Since the Act was passed, there have been no recorded outbreaks of salmonellosis linked to pasteurized egg products. This safety record is especially impressive considering that more than 76 billion eggs are consumed annually, with slightly more than 30% in the form of egg products in liquid, frozen or dried form.

The first step in producing an egg product is removal from the shell. This is followed by filtering and cooling to maintain quality while waiting for further processing, which may include the addition of non-egg ingredients, mixing or blending, stabilizing, pasteurizing, cooling, and packaging for freezing or subsequent drying.

“The USDA-approved pasteurization (heat treatment) methods assure food manufacturers that they’re using high-quality, safe egg products. The companies involved in producing egg products conduct thousands of quality assurance tests to be sure harmful bacteria are destroyed during the pasteurization process,” says Dr. Patricia Curtis, Auburn University Professor and Director of the National Egg Processing Center.

FDA regulations require qualifying statements when the terms “no hormones or antibiotics” are declared on labels for eggs. Additionally, no hormones or therapeutic antibiotics are used in the production of eggs for human food. Antibiotics may be used occasionally, but eggs from treated hens are removed from the market for a specified period of time in accordance with applicable regulations.

Although pasteurized refrigerated eggs may have a limited shelf life of a few weeks, both frozen and dried egg products, when properly stored, maintain a stable shelf life for months. It is important that food processors manage incoming raw egg products to keep them safe. For example, frozen egg products should not be allowed to thaw until it is time for immediate use. Refrigerated egg products should always be kept at 40°F or below. Dried egg products should flow freely and not be caked up or hardened, possible signs of degradation. Like all ingredients, further processed egg products should be used well within any expiration dates.

Creating appealing food products with great taste is challenge enough. Exceed your expectations and take the worry about safety out of your formulation concerns with real egg products. For more information about the wide variety of pasteurized, government-inspected, further-processed egg products, contact the American Egg Board, 877/488-6143 or 847/296-7043, or visit

2014-01-20 05:00:34

Whole Egg Products

From the Nutrition Facts to the ingredient statement, discerning consumers often base purchase decisions on what is included or missing from a food label. Formulating with whole egg products helps keep labels clean and simple, as “whole eggs” or “eggs” on ingredient statements conveys purity and naturalness, as compared to chemical-sounding ingredients. And with 20-plus functionalities, no other single food ingredient can directly replace whole eggs in product formulations.

Whole eggs can provide prepared foods with exceptional richness in terms of color, flavor and texture. They also can assist with emulsifying, stabilizing, increasing volume, improving machineability and more. Plus, whole eggs are considered nutrient dense, as an average Large egg (50 grams) contains 6.25 grams of high-quality, complete protein; 5 grams of fat, the majority of which is unsaturated; and a range of essential vitamins and minerals, including choline, vitamin D, phosphorous, and riboflavin..

To enable ease of distribution, storage and use, the egg products industry offers whole egg products in three basic forms: dried, refrigerated liquid and frozen.

With dried whole eggs, most of the moisture is typically removed through spray drying, providing product developers with a highly concentrated egg product. Sucrose, corn syrup or sodium silicoaluminate are sometimes added as anti-caking agents to assure a free-flowing product. Without these ingredients, the dried whole egg product could harden and solidify, making it difficult to incorporate into food systems. These ingredients also help preserve the whipping properties of dried whole egg. Dried whole eggs have the advantage of long shelflife and stability and are easily mixed with other ingredients.

Refrigerated, liquid whole eggs are the most convenient form of whole egg products. As with all types of egg products, they are pasteurized to maintain safety and quality through shelflife. Quick and easy to use at the commercial level, some liquid products may contain small amounts of other food ingredients in order to maintain product quality and functionality.

Frozen whole eggs can be thawed as needed, and used in a similar manner to refrigerated, liquid eggs. Frozen whole egg products also often contain other ingredients to preserve quality and functionality. For example, sugar, corn syrup, citric acid or salt can be added to prevent gelation during freezing, as gelation leads to an increase in viscosity.

2014-01-07 16:05:29