Small Plates...Big Potential

Finger foods and appetizers find a strong and thriving market not only at wine bars but also larger restaurants offering specials on small plates at specified times between the lunch and regular dinner hour, or served with late-night cocktails. The small plate gives diners the opportunity to experiment with new types of cuisine without taking a big risk. Operators can experiment with various trends, flavors and forms without major menu changes.

Baum & Whiteman reports small balls of fried food create contemporary flavor delivery systems, popular in the bar area of restaurants. Egg ingredients help breading adhere, ingredients bind together and retain their shape; for arancini, risotto, falafel, croquettes, kimchi, goat cheese mixed with spinach, or mini crab cakes. Mini pockets, pies, sliders, two-bite sandwiches and fried vegetables like panko-coated green beans or artichoke hearts, served with a complementary dipping sauce can help round out a small plate offering.

Small plates can help provide extra profits in the bar area or an additional traffic during traditional slow times within a main restaurant. And a stable of functional, reliable ingredients mixed with more exotic flavorings, vegetables and proteins can help the foodservice chef create a wide variety of small plate offerings designed to keep the menu fresh and adventuresome.

Egg ingredients help create appetizers & small-bite foods with big flavor.  For innovative ideas visit

2013-06-10 05:00:08

Eating Alone - the New Normal

The Hartman Group research indicates that 46% of all adult eating occasions are solitary. Dining alone has replaced the family meal occasion almost half of the time. There are multiple reasons for this including the large number of women in the workforce, the fast pace of our society and sometimes simply the average workload and the sheer number of us who have formed the habit of eating at our desk. However more than half of adult solitary dining takes place in the home, so this trend should interest retail marketers and foodservice alike.

One caveat researchers noted is that due to these solitary dining occasions, consumers’ portion sizes continue to creep upwards. Yet this same group is concerned about wellness and proper nutrition. However among senior citizens, sometimes solitary dining is not their first choice but a factor of living alone. Another study indicated in this population two in five show warning signs of poor nutritional health.

The proper ingredient choices can help create single-serve meals that fulfill a variety of different nutritional goals. In single-serve meals, egg ingredients can form an important component with a nutritional profile that includes upwards of six grams of protein from a single egg, without any trans fat. In addition, the protein provided by egg ingredients is high quality and contains easily digestible amino acids, an important consideration when formulating for the elderly or active adults. Egg proteins help create satiety, a boost to adults concerned about overeating when dining alone. And in addition, egg ingredients play host to a large number of additional nutritional benefits including choline, folate, potassium, phosphorus and a host of vitamins.

Eating alone might be the new normal but a reliable stand-by ingredient, the egg, can help create exciting market possibilities to take advantage of and capitalize upon this trend. For formulation ideas visit

2013-05-27 05:00:53

Just Add Eggs

Numerous ingredients can help bakers produce delectable baked goods with artisan appeal. Eggs, Zuromski explains, are a useful natural aid, because they “provide aeration and also help form emulsions, building structure for stability, tenderizing products, retaining moisture, increasing nutritional value, and even improving flavor and color.” He points to how dried and liquid egg products are available in modified products to help increase these characteristics and maintain a baked product’s integrity when packaged.

The proper handling of eggs can be a leading challenge to larger production operations, according to Stephen Sollner, an instructor at AIB International School of Baking. “Egg processors have provided a great service to the baker by shelling eggs, followed by pasteurization to provide a microbial-safe ingredient. They also provide the baker with many different forms of eggs that give flexibility. Some examples include frozen whole eggs, frozen yolks and whites, sugared yolks, and powdered whole eggs, yolks and whites.” Egg yolk, in particular, says Sollner, “plays a major role in the richness in an artisanal baked good, so producers might benefit from the use of fortified whole eggs—those with additional yolk added for additional richness.”

Egg products also are useful when it comes to addressing safety issues. “Powered egg products help minimize handling issues in larger plants,” says Sollner, “and egg processors have developed shelf-stable eggs by adding sugar and reducing the water content.”

As the demand for artisan baked goods increases, you’ll need a quality egg products supplier. Visit our Buyers’ Guide, for more information.

2013-05-13 05:00:23

‘Free-from’ Benefits from Egg Inclusion

The ‘free from’ crowd among consumers is growing—the avid label readers, the shoppers who peruse only the outer perimeter of the store and look for foods free from preservatives, GMOs or food free from ingredients that seem artificial. They also are looking for foods free from gluten.

In 2009 a research group at Mayo Clinic compared blood samples to determine if improved diagnoses were causing the increased number of celiacs or if more people were actually contracting the disease. The team discovered that it is five times more common than fifty years ago. While the numbers for true celiacs are increasing, the Hartman Group, a Seattle-based research firm, says at least half of consumer purchasing gluten free product don’t suffer from celiac. Regardless of the reason for purchase, Mintel projects the gluten free market will see continued growth, with sales estimates of $7 billion for 2012 and $8 billion for 2013.

Creating foods that will appeal to the free-from crowd requires a look at simple, yet highly functional ingredients. Eggs play into a free-from purchasing plan naturally. Egg ingredient functionality and nutritional content both contribute to the creation of gluten-free foods.

The typical blend of flours used in gluten-free bread, for example, contains far less protein than wheat-based breads, affecting the bread composition. Since 2010 scientists at Kansas State University have experimented with egg proteins in gluten free bread because the high-quality, complete proteins in eggs form foam that entraps air. Eggs, when used with gluten-free flours, help simulate the wheat flour functionality in bread. Early research appears to suggest optimal results are obtained through the use of 25% whole liquid egg product, on a flour basis. Other research indicates that egg ingredient usage might also help prevent staling.

In sweet applications, such as cookies, cakes or muffins, egg proteins help contribute to a lighter, more fluffy texture.  Gluten-free pasta benefits not only from egg proteins, to help bind the ingredients together, but the egg yolk pigment, xanthophyll, a carotenoid with a yellow-orange tone, which helps contribute rich color to the pasta. “Free-from” foods don’t have to be devoid of taste, nutrition, form or function. Egg ingredients contribute to all of these.  Visit for incredible application ideas.

2013-04-29 15:03:32

Sunshine from Food

There could be more than one reason why a certain style of cooked breakfast egg is called “sunnyside up.” The friendly yellow yolk contains approximately 41 IUs of vitamin D, the vitamin commonly associated with sunlight, because vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.

This can be in short supply in the wintertime, particularly in far northern climates as the sun doesn’t rise high enough in the sky to deliver this beneficial effect to anyone north of Atlanta (U.S. News and World Report). A common misconception is that vitamin D benefits can be derived from sitting in a sunlit window, but vitamin D does not pass through glass. You can however, improve vitamin D intake while sitting at the table, as certain foods, such as eggs, can help provide it for your body.

Vitamin D may help combat the winter blues.  But vitamin D does so much more. It may help in preventing osteoporosis, prostate and breast cancers. Studies have shown that vitamin D may also help keep blood sugar levels under control by increasing the release of insulin, and lower blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with diabetes. Vitamin D performs normal functions in the body to help maintain blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D in fact, aids in calcium absorption, which helps keep bones strong and healthy. Recent research even suggests vitamin D may provide protection from hypertension and several autoimmune diseases.

Heart deaths are even linked to vitamin D deficiency. Research from the Archives of Internal Medicine show people with the lowest vitamin D levels have more than double the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes.

The government recommends 200 IUs daily up to age 50, recommending increasing amounts for each decade that follows. Formulating products with whole egg or yolk products can help consumers reach their daily goal of vitamin D. Visit for innovative formulations.

2013-04-15 16:46:11

Eggs, A Low Glycemic Food

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrates a correlation between consumption of foods with a high glycemic index and the development of type-2 diabetes. Still other studies show that a breakfast containing low glycemic foods can help with satiety and weight loss. Not only should consumers be concerned about calories, blood sugar is another important consideration.

An egg straight from the shell contains no carbohydrates, and therefore will not raise blood sugar levels. Certain egg products, such as frozen or liquid whole egg, yolks or whites contain a negligible amount of carbohydrates, or slightly above one percent of its total ingredient composition, to assist with functionality. Still other egg products might contain small amounts of sugar, for the same reason, to improve functional and physical properties. However, the majority of egg ingredients contain neither of these, yet supply highly digestible protein to aid with muscle building, satiety and a host of other benefits.

The egg also is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, in addition to choline, and a number of other vitamins and minerals, including small amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Egg products are naturally low in sodium and egg yolks contain just a trace amount of trans fats. Nothing makes a better choice for a start to the day than the filling protein an egg breakfast provides. Egg products provide positive benefits for those looking to formulate foods for weight management and blood sugar level control.

To learn more about incredible eggs and their role in weight management, visit Egg Nutrition Center,

2013-04-01 05:00:23

How much protein do we need for physical performance and adult health?

This was the topic addressed by Dr. Heather Leidy from the University of Missouri and Dr. Donald Layman, Director of Research for the Egg Nutrition Center and Professor Emeritus from the University of Illinois at the annual Institute of Food Technology Wellness Conference on February 27 in Chicago.

Dr. Leidy opened the program with an evaluation of current dietary intakes and recommendations and a review of new research about benefits of higher protein diets. She reported that currently in the United States, adult protein intakes average about 0.9 to 1.1 g/kg of body weight or about 13% to 18% of energy intakes. These intakes are above the minimum requirements established by the USDA Recommend Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 0.8 g/kg leading to the general conclusion that adults eat sufficient protein. However, new research evaluating physical performance and long-term muscle function has begun to question if meeting minimum requirements to prevent deficiencies is adequate for optimum health and performance. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia are increasingly prevalent and relate to muscle health. Dr. Leidy summarized new research showing benefits of higher protein diets for weight management, improving muscle function, lowering body fat, increasing energy expenditure, enhancing satiety, and helping to stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Dr. Leidy emphasized the need for new and better methods for defining protein needs for optimum muscle health.

Dr. Layman reported that there is a major shift occurring in our understanding about protein needs for adults from current dietary recommendations defining protein needs as either g/kg or as % of calories to a need for specific amounts of protein at individual meals. He discussed new research about the roles of individual amino acids in metabolic signaling and the unique role of leucine as a dietary trigger for building new proteins in muscle. Leucine is an essential amino acid found in high quantities in dairy and eggs. Dr. Layman discussed his research in evaluating this unique metabolic trigger. The research shows that the leucine signal represents a meal threshold for protein requiring at least 30 g of high quality proteins to allow the body to begin to build and repair muscle proteins. Based on USDA dietary surveys, most Americans consume over 65% of their daily protein in the dinner meal with breakfast and lunch containing less than 20 g. Dr. Layman showed the importance of 30 g of protein at breakfast for long-term muscle development and body composition. Athletes also have a need for protein after exercise to accelerate recovery. The research suggests that at least 15 g of protein consumed within 2 hours after exercise will stimulate muscles to rebuild and repair proteins after intense training.

The session provided new insights about protein needs for athletes to maximize muscle performance and important information for active adults to maintain fitness and muscle function.


2013-03-18 05:00:22

Clean Label

Clean labels continue to grow in importance as a factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. How does this balance with shelf life and quality challenges?

First, the definition of clean label defies an easy answer. To some it might mean a shorter ingredient list. Others are looking for ingredients they equate as natural or healthy, while others are simply looking for an ingredient list that contains names they can pronounce.

Fortunately for manufacturers, egg ingredients not only possess a comforting profile for consumers as something recognizable from their own kitchen, they also possess an impressive list of functional properties.

Egg ingredients can help bind other ingredients, provide structure and stability and assist with moisture migration while maintaining a low flavor profile, allowing the primary flavors to shine.  These functional properties can help create a finished product that eliminates or reduces additives. This can help create a label that is shorter, more natural looking and—you have to admit—‘eggs’ are easy to pronounce.

2013-03-04 05:00:19


While many are predicting cupcakes will fade away, their popularity appears to remain strong. This home-style favorite stars as a blank palette that can take on any personality, fresh and fruity, decadent, exotic or traditional…with a twist.

One shop in Minneapolis has expanded its variety of cupcake offerings to 70 from 40 just a few years ago. And as cupcakes continue this snowball of popularity, other home-style, single-serve desserts are following in their wake. Some predict these homestyle cakes will star as a hot trend on wedding buffets in 2013.

Any successful cupcake or single-serve homestyle dessert relies on quality ingredients. From red velvet to angel food cakes, rich chocolate confections to French vanilla, proper structure, texture and rise depend on the eggs used in the baking process. Most commercial cupcakes must withstand the freeze/thaw cycle from bakery to utilization and egg ingredients’ functional properties ensure the premium mouthfeel and structure will hold fast through delivery to consumption. That’s having your cake and eating it too…and enjoying every mouthful.

2013-02-18 05:00:11


Trends data shows breakfast items are extending across the menu at restaurants to other dayparts as an economical choice for patrons seeking comfort food.

In fact, the penetration of restaurants currently menuing breakfast is rising, and the erosion of traditional dayparts is expanding the hours when breakfast is served.

This trend plays to the benefit of both consumers and foodservice operators. According to QSR Magazine, eating breakfast for dinner allows customers a “wallet-friendly way to eat out and enjoy the comfort food they love.”

And in an era of rising ingredient costs operators need affordable options that can star at the center of the plate. National Restaurant Association reports that operators striving to contain costs are resisting the idea of raising menu prices. One-third of operators responding to the 2013 trends survey said to avoid this scenario they are changing menu choices and 25% are adjusting plate composition.

Eggs and egg ingredients offer an affordable protein option that helps contain costs. In addition, their incredible versatility helps create breakfast-style comfort food designed to suit any flavor palate.  Eggs and egg ingredients can help breakfast move comfortably into its new menu territory.

2013-02-05 14:36:28