Egg Yolk Products

Egg yolks are the yellow portion of a whole egg. They comprise 30% to 33% of the total liquid weight of a whole egg and contain the entire fat content of the egg in a balanced mix of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids with no trans fatty acids. Yolks also contain a little less than half of the protein of the whole egg and a high proportion of vitamins and minerals. Further, the yolk’s lipid profile includes a number of functional and healthful nutrients, including lecithin, choline and carotenoids.

  • The phospholipid lecithin, which acts as an emulsifying agent in foods such as sauces and dressings, can also be used to coat ingredients, aiding in their dispersion in a food matrix. In baked goods, lecithin reduces the rate of moisture loss as well as exerts a tenderizing effect.
  • Choline is an essential nutrient shown to significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, as well as contribute to fetal brain development.
  • The xanthophyll carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to contribute to eye health, assisting with preventing macular degeneration that can lead to blindness. The carotenoids make the yolk yellow, providing a rich color to baked goods, sauces and dressings.
  • Egg yolk is one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D, a nutrient associated with bone health. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing concern among the American population.

Egg yolks are available in a wide variety of forms, including dried, frozen and refrigerated for a host of applications. They are a nutrient-dense ingredient that contributes to a clean label.

2014-02-17 12:58:09

The New Generation of Heat-and-Eat Meals

Many consumers, who traded down from restaurant meals in favor of retail-prepared foods that require simple heating prior to eating, are predicted to continue the habit even as the country’s financial situation improves. A major influence on this dining shift is the premium positioning of recent retail rollouts, ranging from frozen skillet meal kits to extended-shelf life refrigerated casseroles to microwaveable shelf-stable entrees.

Egg products can contribute to the quality of these meals in terms of functionality and nutrition. After all, eggs provide “20-plus functions,” including aeration, or how eggs lighten up foods; coagulation, or how eggs solidify; crystallization, or how eggs prevent ice crystal development; emulsification, or how eggs improve creaminess; protein, or how eggs are an economical source of high-quality protein; and texture, or how eggs provide structure.

For example, most pasta-based, heat-and-eat entrées contain cooked pasta made with eggs. Egg white proteins provide structure and coagulative properties to noodles, which is especially important for cooked noodles held in a liquid or a high-moisture frozen medium. This is exemplified in the new pasta-based Healthy Choice frozen steaming entrées.

Cooked pasta can also use whole egg products. The egg yolk contains xanthophyll, a carotenoid that has a yellow-orange pigment and gives the yolk its characteristic color. This pigment contributes a rich color to pasta, which is important in frozen entrées such as new Contessa Shrimp Primavera.

An attribute that many of the new generation of heat-and-eat entrées possess is simplicity. This involves ingredient lines with readily recognizable ingredients that a consumer could buy and have at home, such as eggs.

Simplicity is an attempt include the essential ingredients in a food formulation, according to the Natural Marketing Institute, Harleysville, PA., which has identified “pure & simple” as one of the top trends for the new decade. In the heat-and-eat entrée category, simplicity has become the ultimate sophistication.

Egg products are recognized by product developers as bringing more to product formulations with less. “With 20-plus functions, some might say egg products are anything but simple. But the truth is, egg products are uniquely pure and simple,” says Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing, American Egg Board, Park Ridge, IL. “Their inclusion on ingredient statements is simple — egg, egg white or egg yolk — making egg products a natural fit for gourmet heat-and-eat entrée formulations.”

2014-02-03 05:00:18