By having most of the moisture removed, dried egg whites are viewed as more convenient than fresh or liquid egg whites, as the dried version has a longer shelf life and is shelf stable. Dried egg white also readily reconstitutes and easily blends with other dry ingredients.
Dried egg white manufacturing in the United States is defined in 21CFR160.145; however, the U.S. standard does not specify minimum or maximum moisture contents. Dried egg whites are usually produced by spraying atomized liquid egg white into a heated drier chamber. A continuous flow of accelerated heated air removes most of the moisture. The resulting ingredient is referred to as spray-dried egg white, spray-dried egg white solids or spray-dried egg albumen. Egg white can also be dried on trays or pans to create a flake or granular form.
Glucose, a reducing sugar, is removed from egg whites before drying to produce product with excellent storage stability. Whipping aids such as sodium lauryl sulfate may be added to dried egg white products at less than 0.1 percent by weight of the liquid prior to drying. Dried egg white with sodium lauryl sulfate is often referred to as high-whip dried egg white.
Food manufacturers use dried egg whites in a variety of applications including frozen desserts, bakery mixes, meringues, coatings and batters. For example, dried egg white, in combination with dried milk, flour and seasonings has been shown to make an excellent batter for deep-frying vegetables, meat and seafood. Egg white foams increase six to eight times in volume, and along with the gluten and starch in flour, establish the basic structure for angel food cakes. Dried egg white is also used in white cake formulas. Reconstituted dried egg white can be brushed on top of breads and other bakery products, acting like an adhesive for toppings such as seeds. The egg white also produces a light, shiny surface.
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