Eggcyclopedia

Welcome to the The Incredible Edible Egg™ Eggcyclopedia, where you can access the latest egg information from A-Z. The Eggcyclopedia was developed by the American Egg Board (AEB) on behalf of America's egg farmers who are committed to caring for their hens and producing high-quality eggs for you and your families.

Just click on any letter below to bring up a list of egg terms and their related definitions.

Egg Products

Processed and convenience forms of eggs for commercial, foodservice and home use, including refrigerated-liquid, frozen, dried and specialty products. Egg products are comparable to shell eggs in flavor, nutritional value and most functional properties. Convenience foods – such as cake and pudding mixes, pasta, ice cream, mayonnaise, candies and bakery goods – utilize egg products. Egg products are frequently preferred to shell eggs by commercial bakers, food manufacturers and the foodservice industry because they have many advantages, including convenience, labor savings, minimal storage requirements, ease of portion control, and product quality, safety, stability and uniformity. Surplus shell eggs, as well as those produced particularly for the purpose, are used in making egg products. About 30% of total U.S. egg production goes into egg products. About three billion pounds of all types of egg products are produced each year in the U.S. Since passage of the Egg Product Inspection Act (EPIA) in 1970, all plants that make egg products operate under continuous USDA inspection. The Act mandates specific inspection requirements for shell eggs and egg products to ensure wholesomeness, including pasteurization of all egg products. Processing egg products. Immediately on delivery to the breaking plant, shell eggs are held in refrigerated holding rooms. Before breaking, the eggs are washed in water that is at least 90ºF (32ºC). The wash water must also be at least 20ºF (11ºC) warmer than the internal temperature of the eggs. The eggs must be spray-rinsed with a sanitizing agent. Refrigerated liquid products. Machines break eggs and, if necessary, separate the whites and yolks. After the liquid egg is pasteurized and put into covered containers, it may be shipped to bakeries or other outlets for immediate use or to other plants for further processing. When shipped by truckload, sanitary tank trucks maintain temperatures low enough to assure that the liquid egg arrives at its destination at 40ºF (4ºC) or less. In addition to tanker truckloads, wholesale and foodservice refrigerated-product containers range in size from bags containing a few ounces to 20-, 30- and 45-pound bags, 4- to 10-pound cartons, 30-pound cans and bulk totes holding up to 3,000 pounds. Retail refrigerated products for home use are generally available in one-or two-pack cartons containing 8 to 16 ounces each. Keep liquid egg products under refrigeration and use immediately after opening. Shelf life can vary, so check the product label. Frozen egg products. These products include separated whites and yolks, whole eggs, blends of whole eggs and yolks or whole eggs and milk and these same blends with salt, sugar or corn syrup added. Salt or carbohydrates are sometimes added to yolks and whole eggs to prevent yolk gelation during freezing. Frozen egg products are generally packed in 30- and 40-pound plastic pails, 30-pound cans, and in 4-, 5-, 8- and 10- pound pouches (some of which are cook-in-bag pouches) or waxed or plastic cartons. Some retail consumer products are available frozen in one-or two-pack cartons containing 8 to 16 ounces each. Keep frozen egg products frozen or refrigerated until use. Thaw frozen egg products under refrigeration or under cold running water in unopened containers. After defrosting, refrigerate thawed egg products and use within 3 days. Dried or dehydrated egg products. Known also as egg solids, dried egg products have been produced in the United States since 1930. Demand was minimal until World War II when production reached peak levels to meet military and lend-lease requirements. Present-day technology – such as glucose removal and improved multi-stage dryers – has greatly improved the quality of dried eggs. Dried egg products are used in a wide number of convenience foods and in the foodservice industry. Dried eggs for foodservice are sold in 6-ounce pouches, and 3- and 25-pound poly-packs. For commercial use, 5-, 25- and 50- pound boxes and 150-, 175- and 200-pound drums are available. For home use, dried egg products include dried egg whites in 3- to 8-ounce fiberboard and metal canisters sold in supermarkets, meringue powders often available at gourmet outlets and freeze-dried egg products found in camping goods stores. Store unopened dried egg products in a cool (below 70º F/21ºC), dry place away from light. Tightly seal and refrigerate opened containers. Specialty egg products. Egg specialties processed for the foodservice industry include wet- and dry-pack, pre-peeled, hard-boiled eggs – either whole, wedged, sliced, chopped or pickled; long rolls of hard-boiled eggs; and freeze-dried scrambled eggs. Among other convenience menu items, also available are a host of frozen products, including pre-cooked fried and scrambled eggs and scrambled egg mix in boilable pouch, omelets, egg patties, French toast, quiche and quiche mix. Ultra-pasteurized liquid eggs with extended shelf-life are also available. Many specialty egg items are also available at retail, including refrigerated peeled hard-boiled eggs; shelf-stable pickled eggs; and frozen scrambled eggs, omelets and mixes, French toast and quiche. – See Breakers, Egg Products Inspection Act, Egg Roll, Restricted Eggs