December 9, 2013
Eggs are the original high-quality, high-protein breakfast food. For convenience sake, egg products can be readily included in many packaged, prepared products for on-the-go dining. Egg product suppliers eliminate the egg preparation step by supplying precooked eggs in the form of egg patties, omelets and scrambled eggs, which are quick-frozen to ensure freshness and easily adapted to assemblage lines.
Convenience breakfast items can be microwaved at home or at a foodservice establishment, and include sandwiches, burritos and bowls. They rely on fully cooked, pasteurized egg products that provide consistency and portion control in the final application. They are ready-to-go, just like the breakfast item in which they are featured.
These precooked egg products offer manufacturers flexibility in creating breakfast items. All three forms—patties, omelets and scrambled—can be customized to include the addition of other ingredients, including herbs, spices and diced veggies. Sometimes they will contain other ingredients to maintain product quality and assist with freeze-thaw stability.
November 25, 2013
Product developers can turn to value-added specialty egg product ingredients when consistent and efficient functionality is required in food formulations. Through the use of physical processing, the chemistry of these ingredients has been fine-tuned by egg processors to provide improved performance.
When the foam is a critical characteristic of the finished product, as in the case of angel food cake or meringue, formulators should consider using high-whip egg whites. Available in dried, refrigerated liquid or frozen, high-whip egg whites whip into a food foam faster and more consistently than regular egg white. Liquid and frozen high-whip whites typically contain sodium lauryl sulfate to enhance foaming. Dried high-whip whites are produced by holding the egg white solids at high temperatures for an extended period of time.
Egg product manufacturers can also enzymatically treat the egg yolk’s inherent all-natural emulsifier lecithin. This changes its chemistry to a form with increased solubility, improved emulsification and enhanced heat stability. Because this enzymatic treatment is not considered a processing aid, enzyme modified egg yolk does require declaration on the ingredient panel.
Available in dried, refrigerated liquid or frozen, enzyme modified egg yolk is extremely useful in applications that rely on egg yolks for emulsification, such as mayonnaise, salad dressings and sauces.
For more information about other value-added specialty egg products, including an in-depth explanation of the science behind their physical transformation, please consider viewing the FunctionalEgg.org video titled: Fine-Tuning Performance: When Value-Added Specialty Egg Products Are the Right Choice.
November 11, 2013
Egg allergy affects around 2% of children younger than 5 years old. While studies show that 80% of children eventually outgrow egg allergy, and most in the general population do so by school age, there are still many children retaining egg allergy into their teenage years. It appears that the longer the egg allergy persists, the less likely tolerance develops. This makes eating a variety of foods, in particular outside the home, very challenging, as eggs are present in many prepared foods.
According to a study published in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, research indicates that some egg-allergic individuals can tolerate baked egg (as in a muffin), as heating decreases allergenicity by altering the protein structure responsible for triggering an allergic reaction. Recognizing this, researchers characterized the immunologic changes associated with ingestion of baked egg and evaluated the role that baked egg diets play in the development of tolerance to regular egg.
Results indicated that the majority of subjects with egg allergy can tolerate baked egg. Long-term ingestion of baked egg is well tolerated and accelerates the development of tolerance to regular egg. These findings present an important shift in the treatment paradigm for egg allergy, as clinical management can improve the quality of life of egg-allergic children and ideally, promote earlier tolerance development.
October 28, 2013
Product developers are wise to understand that many health- and wellness-conscious consumers are seeking meatless, but high-quality protein, main dish options.
It’s worth noting that during the past decade scientists have discovered that high-quality protein influences numerous bodily functions, most notably prevention of muscle loss and maintenance of muscle function. High-quality protein also provides a sense of fullness, which in turn can assist with weight loss and weight management.
Egg products are an economical high-quality protein ingredient for meatless formulations. Not only do they contribute complete proteins to the formulation, they also provide a number of desirable functions. According to Mintel GNPD, 101 egg-containing meatless new products positioned as an alternative for similar meat-containing products have emerged between January 1, 2008 and September 30, 2013 in the United States.
There are more than 40 different proteins in a whole egg, some exclusive to the white and others to the yolk. Egg whites, which are mostly water and protein, when dried, are a concentrated source of high-quality protein. Yolks are also a source of essential fatty acids.
Egg proteins influence the rate of denaturation and coagulation, which in turn are responsible for a number of the more than 20 unique functionalities that egg products bring to product formulations, such as binding ingredients, foaming and tenderization. Egg proteins also contribute to desirable browning.
For example, Lightlife Foods, Turners Falls, MA, recently entered the frozen foods business with the debut of two product lines: Chik’n Entrees and Veggie Burgers. The company combines a variety of non-meat proteins, including egg whites, in order to tout the fact that each serving contains 14 to 20 grams of protein, varying by product.
Elmwood Park, NJ-based Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods is addressing meatless breakfast needs with a new frozen sausage-like patty product. The company combines soy and wheat proteins with egg whites and the traditional spices associated with pork sausages. A 38-gram patty contains 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, none of which quantify as saturated, and 7 grams of protein. Similar pork-based patties contain about the same amount of protein, yet are typically double the calories and the fat, and can be a source of saturated fat.
Egg products, in particular dried egg whites, can assist with the development of meatless center-of-plate offerings.
October 14, 2013
Formulators of baked grain-based foods such as breads, muffins, and even cookies, are increasing the whole grain and fiber contents of formulations to help Americans better achieve their recommended daily intakes. Many are using less refined flours, ancient grains and fiber ingredients, all of which can increase products’ susceptibility to staling, also known as drying out.
Staling has always been one of the earliest signs of deterioration in baked goods. In chemistry books, this is referred to as retrogradation, and it is an irreversible process that not only liberates water but also collapses starch molecules into insoluble moieties.
Without protective measures in place, a bakery-fresh loaf of bread will lose its desirable tender crumb and aroma in a few days. Most neighborhood and in-store bakeries avoid artificial preservatives and ingredients, as are an increasing number of commercial bakeries. This is where egg products enter the picture.
Not only do egg products provide a wide variety of nutrients, including high-quality protein, trans-fatty acid free mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and other highly bioavailable nutrients with recognized health and wellness benefits, they are able to assist with maintaining quality through a baked good’s expected shelf life. And the best part is that they do this while being very simply listed as egg, egg white or egg yolk on ingredient statements.
The process of retrogradation begins in the oven, when the starch chains located inside of the starch granules swell with moisture when heated. As the grain-based product starts to cool, the swollen starch chains lose their moisture content. Over time, moisture migrates to dryer regions of the product and then eventually evaporates into the surrounding atmosphere. Loss of moisture causes the starch chains in the swollen granules to collapse, and the crumb degrades, resulting in a firm texture and dry mouthfeel, eventually rendering the baked good inedible.
Here’s where egg products can help, specifically the all-natural emulsifier lecithin that is concentrated in the yolk. Emulsifiers, which are molecules that have one end that dissolves in water and one end that dissolves in oil, are thought to interfere with the collapse of the swollen starch molecules by lodging in the spaces between the highly branched starch chains, thus preventing their collapse. This retards the onset and rate of firming that occurs with age.
And here’s an added bonus. Egg yolks have a beautiful yellow-orange hue, as they are a concentrated source of the carotenoid xanthophylls. This pigment provides richness in terms of color when added to grain-based foods…and rich color contributes to perceived quality and freshness. For example, the egg yolks in Dunkin’ Donuts’ new Egg Bagels provide a desirable yellow hue, while contributing to a moist, soft, chewy inside.
Egg proteins, in particular those found in whites, can also assist with extending the shelf life of baked goods through foam formation. Foams entrap air, giving baked goods volume and springiness, attributes that suggest freshness. And when it comes to providing structure to baked goods, egg proteins accomplish this by the chemical process known as coagulation, which is the transformation of liquid egg into a semi-solid or solid matrix.
Essentially the same chemistry supports the functions of aeration and coagulation, with the former entrapping air and the latter binding water. Through a series of reactions, millions of egg protein molecules aggregate to form an insoluble three-dimensional network. As the proteins aggregate together, they entrap air—as in the case of a foam—and moisture—as in the case of a gel, as well as interact with gluten, thereby essentially building the baked good. In essence, they create cells where the cellular wall is composed of proteins and the cell contents are air or moisture.
Egg products, through their ability to retain moisture, slow down the staling process. This science has proven to be very useful in providing extended shelf life to gluten-free bread, as bread relies heavily on gluten for structure and palatability. Egg proteins can mimic gluten.
There are many other ways egg products can assist with preventing staling. For example, an egg wash applied to the surface prior to baking can seal in moisture. Further, eggs are a natural source of antioxidants, which may minimize oxidation of lipids during storage.
To learn more about how egg products can assist with extending the shelf life of baked goods, please view “Baked Goods: Extending Shelf Life” at FunctionalEgg.org. This video, as well as the 11 others, can assist you with understanding the 20-plus functional benefits of egg products while earning free continuing education credits.
October 7, 2013
American Egg Board promotes 20+ egg functions at
International Baking Industry Expo
With the help of local culinary students, the American Egg Board is treating IBIE attendees to incredible desserts in booth #11737 to showcase the irreplaceable functionality of eggs. “Rather than just describe the functionality of eggs,” explains Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing, “we decided to give bakery professionals a chance to taste the value of eggs in bakery applications. Because of their multi-functionality, eggs contribute in a variety of ways to a finished product. Texture, taste and appearance all benefit from the functionality of eggs.”
Items being sampled during IBIE highlight the most common functions of eggs in baked goods: coagulation, aeration/foaming, emulsification, crystallization control and binding. (Notably, eggs perform extremely well as a binding agent in gluten-free applications.)
Culinary students from the Art Institute of Las Vegas will offer expo attendees the following tasting menu:
Sun., Oct. 6 Flourless Chocolate Torte
Mon., Oct. 7 Tiramisu Cupcakes
Tues., Oct. 8 Biscotti with Crème Anglaise Dipping Sauce
Flourless chocolate torte – Without flour in this torte, eggs are the workhorses. They serve a very basic function to give structure by coagulating and binding non-gluten containing ingredients together.
Tiramisu cupcakes – eggs are featured in the tiramisu topping, giving it body, creaminess, and a smooth, light mouth feel as a result of their aeration and crystallization control properties. In the cake, the egg works to leaven by aerating the batter and setting the structure through coagulation in the heat of the oven.
Biscotti with Crème Anglaise dipping sauce – Eggs play a major role in the biscotti, binding all ingredients together, contributing to the crisp texture, providing the only moisture in the formulation, and contributing to the Maillard reaction. And, they star in the dipping sauce. Crème Anglaise is a custard sauce, in which eggs contribute to the thickening and coloring of the sauce.
‘Eggsperts’ will be available throughout the show in booth #11737 to answer questions about the incredible functionality of eggs. For more information on the 20-plus functions and formulas using all natural eggs, visit AEB.org.
September 30, 2013
All signs point to breakfast as an all-day anytime offering and the movement keeps gaining traction. Prepared savory egg dishes fill a market niche dedicated to this trend.
Experts say high protein breakfasts keep us full longer, to aid in our underlying goal to avoid weight gain and control our hunger. With eggs providing an abundant and cost effective source of protein it seems to make sense to have them for breakfast—whether eaten in the morning, afternoon or evening. We loved omelets or egg sandwiches as children but when we reach adulthood, they disappear from our home menus because of preparation time. The retail market has responded with heat-and-eat breakfast choices providing multiple options that offer lean and lower-calorie choices, like Special K’s 240 calorie flatbreads. NPD predicts that these breakfast options will continue to grow more than 13% by 2018.
The supplier side of the restaurant industry has begun to respond to the growing need for all-day egg items. Egg wraps, quiches, egg frittatas, ready-to-heat-and-eat omelets and all-day egg sandwiches are part of a wide offering at coffee shops and QSR restaurants like Starbucks and Panera. The egg products served up in these chains is brought in frozen, ready-to-go for serving up great egg menu items like these, with new creations limited only by a chef’s imagination.
This makes the egg breakfast convenient and tasty. Technomic Research shows that breakfast is all about convenience and consumers are willing to pay more in the morning if there is quick service that fits into their routine. The quick-serve breakfast category is getting manufacturers of value-added egg products to become more creative in product offerings of cooked egg items. And inspired chefs are responding by inserting egg dishes on all sections of their menu.
Chi Town Eatery, scheduled to open soon in the west loop of Chicago, is one of many establishments to promote egg protein on a large, all-day breakfast menu. The eatery has adapted its menu to include specialty and build-your-own sandwiches and wraps in the morning for the grab-and-go coffee customer. Options like Florentine Egg sandwich (spinach, tomatoes, artichoke pieces and Swiss cheese) appeal to the vegetable lover while Chili Bacon Egg Launcher swings to the other side of the pendulum, (house chili, bacon, cheese and BBQ Ranch Sauce), to provide former breakfast-skippers with quick and flavorful choices.
This resurgent breakfast popularity combined with the new prepared egg options available to restaurateurs is causing eggs to appear in all day breakfast menus, or like at Chi Town Eatery, as a complementary element in appetizer, lunch and dinner sections. Chef Steve Schimoler of Crop Bistro & Bar in Cleveland, is one of many to reintroduce eggs to their menu offerings with his Chile Deviled Egg with Oven Dried Prosciutto. He says that simple dishes like deviled eggs deliver comfort from the past and when combined with unique ingredients create new flavor memories for the future. Eggs have been a part of his menu for the past five years and will remain. As other chefs ride the breakfast wave look to see more exciting menu offering like this one appearing in an eatery near you.
To locate a supplier of value-added egg products, visit http://www.aeb.org/food-manufacturers/egg-product-buyers-guide
For innovative breakfast offerings, visit http://www.aeb.org/foodservice-professionals/recipes/featured-recipes
September 19, 2013
Today the American Egg Board announced the release of its latest white paper – “The Egg & Clean Labeling”. The white paper explores the importance and relevance of eggs in today’s clean label marketplace. The number of consumers interested in the contents of modern ingredient labels continues to climb. And they are looking for some very specific information. In fact, according to the 2013 International Food Information Council “Health and Wellness” annual survey, 93 percent of consumers prefer to see familiar ingredients (such as eggs) on food labels. As a result, food manufacturers are more aware and discerning about the ingredients on their product labels.
A natural fit
“Nothing is much more natural than an egg,” explains Joanne Ivy, president & CEO, American Egg Board. “Eggs have a history of use that goes back as far as mankind. It’s probably safe to say that eggs are universally recognized and understood by consumers. So as consumers demand more clean labeled, natural products with recognizable ingredients, eggs can certainly make an important impact on their buying decisions.”
Key white paper highlights include:
- Buying trends are leading to increasing numbers of natural and clean label products
- People want to see ingredients they recognize and trust
- Clean labels play a significant role in consumer purchasing decisions
- 85% of consumers view eggs as a healthy, wholesome choice for their families
- Eggs are a key ingredient in making products better because of their 20 plus functions from emulsification to coagulation
- Egg products used in food processing are indistinguishable from fresh eggs in flavor, functionality and nutritional value
- Cost-effective, appealing, always 100% natural. Eggs can be a positive addition to a label.
- Eggs are not a genetically modified (GM) food. This includes shell eggs and eggs used for processed egg products, i.e. liquid and/or egg powder.
Copies of “The Egg & Clean Labeling” white paper can be downloaded at www.aeb.org/realeggs. For more information on the 20-plus functions and formulas using all natural eggs, visit AEB.org.
A quick check around the baking aisle proves that the single-serve dessert phenomenon continues to grow. Even as cupcakes prove their staying power, other single serve, unique baked items join their ranks, including cake pops and mini layer cakes in plastic tubes—“push-pop” cakes that mimic the ice cream confection. Mini microwave cheesecakes are easy to prepare either at fast-casual establishments or at home. The frozen aisle of the supermarket features single-serve microwave novelties formerly seen only in restaurants, such as lava cakes, that when heated produce a rich cake surrounding a warm, liquid center.
The key, said one baking operator is using high-quality ingredients in made-from-scratch formulations, incorporating original flavors and unique presentations. Obtaining the desired volume, crumb structure, moisture level and texture are important considerations in any cake preparation, and are contributed by egg ingredients, either whole eggs or egg whites.
The continuing popularity of single-serve desserts could be due to a number of factors. Among them, consumers strapped for cash haven’t forgotten the lessons from the lingering recession and a single-serve dessert satisfies a sweet tooth without breaking the bank. Single-serve desserts, such as gourmet cupcakes, fall into the “affordable indulgence” category (think gourmet coffees and espressos) as labeled by economists. Yet these affordable indulgences had better be just that—unique, inspired and rich with quality, natural ingredients.
Another possible factor—in addition to watching their wallets, consumers are becoming increasingly calorie conscious and a single baked treat provides less temptation than an entire cake.
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We’re a confused nation when it comes to breakfast, illustrated by conflicting attitudes about the importance of that meal compared to our actions concerning it. USDA statistics reveal 93%, or an overwhelming majority of Americans consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Yet the percentage of Americans who eat breakfast daily dips below half to only 44% of us and the percent of breakfast skippers who are obese stands at 22%.
Perhaps we’re already looking for ways to fix this gap as NPD predicts heat-and-eat breakfasts to grow more than 13% by 2018.
This could help the obesity dilemma because currently, our first choice for breakfast might not always be our best choice. The best choice, according to the experts, is a meal high in protein. Protein satisfies longer than carbohydrates, contributing to that “full” feeling, otherwise known as satiety. Several studies in various journals, including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, conclude that protein has a greater effect on satiety than carbohydrates or fat and that satiety contributes to weight loss.
In particular, when it concerns breakfast, even the type of protein selected makes a difference in satiety. A study presented at 19th European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France in 2012, reports that eating eggs for breakfast is associated with greater satiety and reduced calorie consumption at lunch than eating wheat-based breakfast foods like ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. http://www.pbrc.edu/news/?ArticleID=147
This randomized, crossover trial compared two breakfast meals that were nearly identical in the amount of calories and protein provided, but the quality of protein in the breakfasts distinguished the two. The egg breakfast supplied high-quality protein, in a form easily digested by the human body. Continuing the good news is the fact that the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded at 215 mg and large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent.
Time to end the confusion and sit down not just to breakfast, which is a first good step, but a breakfast with high-quality protein like that found in eggs. For Incredible! breakfast formulations visit http://bit.ly/M0WIaG