Why Should You Replace Eggs in Baking?

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

About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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