Why you should replace eggs in baking.

Well, for quite a few reasons, actually. Reasons to replace eggs include:

  • Economics: considerable fluctuations in global egg supply and pricing
  • Health concerns: cholesterol content, avian influenza outbreaks, etc.
  • Lifestyle: vegan/vegetarian diets
  • Shelf-life and handling: egg products have a limited shelf-life and can lead to HACCP issues
  • Allergen: egg is considered a top allergen in the U.S., creating a challenge for food producers

Another great reason? Most egg replacers are entirely cost effective and may even end up saving you money.

What can I use to replace eggs?

In the baking industry, most egg replacers are made of:

  • Protein concentrates and isolates: milk, whey, soy, pea, lupine
  • Polysaccharides (gums, hydrocolloids): xanthan gum, guar gum, fibers
  • Cyclic oligosaccharides: cyclodextrins
  • Emulsifiers: soy lecithin, sucrose esters

Ideally, egg replacers should be able to substitute for up to 100% of the egg content, while providing the same physical and sensory attributes equivalent so your consumer won’t tell the difference. Each comes with its advantages and disadvantages:

Component Functionality Advantages/Disadvantages
Proteins (concentrates/isolates)
  • Foam structure
  • Elasticity
  • Firmness
  • Water binding
  • Potential allergenicity
  • Flavor issues (bitterness)
  • Volume reduction10
  • Emulsifier required10
Polysaccharides /gums
  • Internal structure
  • Thickening,
  • Development of very high viscosity at low shear rates.
  • Tendency to aggregate and fall out of solution/dispersion
  • Good thermostability
  • Structure and texture
  • Synergistic with proteins
  • Stable in broad pH range
  • No influence on flavor and color
  • No influence on batter pH and viscosity
  • Emulsification and binding
  • Potential allergenicity
  • Not enough functionality

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