On The Farm

On the Farm

Learn more about where eggs come from and how farmers take care of their communities, hens, and planet.

Bob Krouse


Chris Esbenshade


Clint Hickman


Greg Herbruck

Greg Satrum


Joe Patmos

Karyn Kreher


Mindy Truex


Vanessa Brey


Egg Safety & Handling

Egg Safety &

Information on the Egg Safety Cycle and proper storage and handling techniques for working with eggs

Safety Cycle Videos



4 key parts of the Egg Safety Cycle demonstrated in video format




Egg Storage and Handling

Quick facts related to the safe storage and handling of Eggs
Preparation Guidelines
Guidelines for foodservice professionals to ensure food safety when working with Eggs
Training Materials
Downloadable and orderable materials for training foodservice professionals

Gluten-Free Solutions Begin with REAL Eggs

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Gluten-Free Solutions Begin with REAL Eggs

Texture, chew, crumb, crust, taste and appearance — these are some of the hallmarks of a quality baked product in the eyes (or mouths) of a consumer, but devilishly tricky to recreate in a gluten-free version. Bakery items might comprise the majority of a gluten-free product line, but it also can include pasta, sauces, snacks, meats, desserts and even condiments.

Gluten-free eggs to liquid

However, formulators find baked goods a particular challenge due to the amount of gluten in traditional breads, cookies, muffins and the like. Other product categories generally rely less heavily on gluten with the possible exception of pasta. Even so, there is no single, drop-in ingredient solution that transforms a traditional formulation into gluten-free.

Fortunately there are certain tried and true ingredients that can assist with gluten-free formulating. One vital contributor is the egg. Egg ingredients supply more than 20 functional benefits to food formulators and can play a critical role to achieve proper form, function, appearance, taste, texture and shelf life. In their natural state, in the shell, eggs are completely free of gluten as are most of the further processed egg ingredients, such as liquid whole eggs, egg yolks and egg whites.


New Labeling Regulations

Each component of a gluten-free formulation matters because even miniscule amounts of gluten can add up collectively within the formulation. For example, unexpected sources of gluten can include spices or fermented ingredients such as enzymes, according to Joe Baumert, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, who spoke at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in 2014. And in a facility that processes both traditional and gluten-free products, bakeries in particular can experience cross-contamination. These unexpected sources of gluten or cross-contamination scenarios can affect a product’s labeling status.

Different governing bodies around the globe have varying thresholds for gluten-free product definitions and labeling. Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and certain South American countries all have an official position for testing and detection levels of gluten that a manufacturer must meet in order to label a food gluten free. While the term “gluten-free” implies no gluten at all, global standards generally accept a level of 20 parts per million (ppm).

In the United States in August 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established formal standards for gluten-free labeling:

  • Product must contain less than 20 ppm detectable level of gluten
  • Product does not contain wheat, rye, barley or crossbred hybrids such as triticale
  • Product contains a gluten-containing grain or ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to less than 20 ppm (Note: Oats that contain less than 20 ppm of gluten may be labeled “gluten-free” but do not need to be certified as gluten free)
  • Products naturally gluten free such as bottled water or fresh produce

While the term “gluten-free” implies no gluten at all, global standards generally accept a level of 20 parts per million (ppm).

The ruling covers all FDA-regulated foods, dietary supplements and any imports subject to FDA regulations.


What is gluten and how does it affect gluten-sensitive individuals?

While gluten is most often associated with wheat, gluten is a protein found in a number of grains in addition to wheat, such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale. Gluten is an elastic substance that forms when glutenin and gliadin bind with water. It makes dough elastic and stretchy, entrapping gas within baked goods to provide a light airy structure and appropriate crumb and texture. Gluten can be present in many other products including deli meats, soups, sauces, confections or even toothpaste. Some of these are called “hidden” sources of gluten.

A person diagnosed with celiac disease, a small portion of the American population totaling less than one percent, must avoid gluten in order to remain healthy. Celiac disorder involves an IgA or IgG autoimmune response to gluten, leading to antibodies that attack the villi in the small intestines. Long-term abuse of the intestinal tract can lead to cancer, among other harmful consequences.

…gluten-free products will experience double-digit growth through 2018.

Although currently under debate, many other individuals claim gluten sensitivity, or an allergic response to gluten without biopsy evidence of villous atrophy. Still another, broader demographic group, has voluntarily decided to follow a gluten-free diet, with a Packaged Facts survey revealing “the conviction that gluten-free products are generally healthier” as the top motivation for purchase.

Gluten-free is a label some manufacturers use to tap into the better-for-you product segment, adding gluten-free to other claims such as soy-free, dairy-free and non-GMO, for example. Major market research groups use different metrics to measure market size resulting in a wide range of results, with Mintel’s $10.5 billion for 2013 on the high end to Euromonitor at $486.5 million on the low end. However, all agree when it comes to market forecasting, that gluten-free products will experience double-digit growth through 2018.


Evidence in Favor of Eggs

In a traditional wheat-based bread product, the gluten entraps and holds air bubbles. A leavening agent causes the gluten network to expand, the heat causes the bubbles to rise and then the structure sets, forming a combination of expansion, elasticity and rigidity. Formulators might work for months or even years to perfect gluten-free bread that has proper structure, crumb, texture, appearance, rise, volume and shelf life. Egg proteins can help in many instances.

As egg proteins are exposed to acid or heat, they break and the protein strand denatures. When they aggregate back together again, they entrap air and moisture. This can provide height, volume and stability to chemically leavened baked goods.

Cakes, cookies, muffins and other sweet baked products benefit further from egg ingredient inclusions, because the sugar within the formulation raises the temperature at which egg proteins coagulate. The egg proteins form more and larger air cells, creating a light, fluffy texture, particularly appealing in cakes, muffins and other baked items where a certain level of rise and open, airy texture is expected.

Gluten-free improve products


When formulating with gluten-free flour, moisture content is a critical aspect. If the formulator is baking an item that is expected to rise and the dough is dry, it will be too dense. If the dough is too moist, the rise will be good, but will collapse during the baking period. The common complaint with gluten-free baked goods, such as cookies or sandwich bread is they crumble easily. Therefore binding properties as well as textural qualities are vitally important in ingredient selection. Egg yolks can act as a lipid source in foods by softening a product’s texture.

And not surprisingly, when bakers look to alternative flours for gluten-free formulating, the protein content of the replacement flour is a key factor. According to one expert, the flour’s protein level should be near the 10 percent typical of wheat flour, plus or minus a few points depending on whether the end product is bread, pastry or pasta. Most alternatives top out at about five percent. Rice flour might have a bland flavor, however corn, soy and potato flours all carry a more distinctive taste and are detectable in a product trying to pass itself off as a wheat alternative. A protein source such as an egg ingredient that helps with functionality and itself possesses a bland flavor is invaluable in gluten-free formulating.

Kansas State University researchers, led by Fadi Aramouni, Ph.D., investigated the use of egg ingredients in gluten-free bread to improve the taste, volume, color, moisture and texture. They presented their findings at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting & Food Expo.

The researchers discovered that whole liquid eggs used in gluten-free sorghum bread at 25 percent on a flour basis exhibited the most favorable impact on the bread flavor, texture, volume and moisture level. According to Aramouni, “The addition of eggs made the texture softer and helped maintain moisture and retard staling, which is important to maintaining shelf life.”

A protein source such as an egg ingredient that helps with functionality… is invaluable in gluten-free formulating.


Protein Type Makes a Difference

The type of protein selected to replace the wheat protein does play a critical role in product quality,1 according to a study published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Food Hydrocolloids. A team of researchers in Spain and Venezuela tested the effects of five different proteins from both animal and vegetable sources on a gluten-free muffin, looking at their impact on dough rheology and finished product qualities such as volume, color, texture and moisture content.

Egg white protein performed well compared to the other protein sources in the study, contributing positive functional benefits to the batter’s rheological characteristics and increasing both height and volume in the finished product.

In general, major technical challenges for food manufacturers attempting to create gluten-free baked goods include dough consistency, dense products, dry crumb structure and shelf life.


Beyond Bread

Egg protein, specifically from egg whites, can help batter and breading adhere to frozen appetizers or foods. The heat causes the egg proteins to coagulate and connect the food components with each other.

For pasta, the egg proteins enhance machinability and the pasta cooking quality, plus lend a desirable texture and color. In general a gluten-free product that includes rice or tapioca flour for example, will be lighter in color than a product with traditional wheat flour. The xanthophyll contained in egg yolks that give them their rich golden color can help add rich color to pasta or breads.

In prepared entrees eggs create gels that thicken, bind and lend structure without gluten. Especially when a small amount of wheat is used to bind products together, such as in pasta fillings or meatballs, egg ingredients can substitute.

Egg proteins can improve the mouthfeel of sweet goods and puddings by providing substantial body and smoothness. They can be used to thicken sauces, gravies and other viscous products that normally rely on wheat-based starch ingredients, according to Glenn Froning, Ph.D., food technology advisor for American Egg Board and professor emeritus at University of Nebraska’s food science department. With minor modifications to gravies and sauces, this could open up entire product categories to those with wheat sensitivity. Sauces and gravies are often utilized in frozen prepared meals, for example, and are the component most likely to contain wheat- or gluten-based ingredients.

And compared to other protein options, egg ingredients offer a bland flavor that allows the characteristic flavors of the main ingredient “hero” to come through clearly and cleanly.


Nutrition Also A Consideration

Those diagnosed with celiac disease may also be prone to nutritional deficiencies, and when following a gluten-free diet should be aware of the particular vitamins and minerals that might be lacking.2 Proper advice from a nutritionist can help remedy the situation.3

Gluten-free BV Chart

In addition, proper ingredient choices in gluten-free formulating can boost a product’s nutritional profile. One whole egg contains six grams of protein with all nine essential amino acids, which are defined as amino acids the human body requires but cannot synthesize. This includes histidine, leucine, lysine, isoleucine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, phenylalanine and valine. The essential amino-acid composition of egg protein is similar to the human body’s requirement, allowing the body to use the protein more efficiently for growth. Using protein’s biological value (BV) scale, with 100 representing top efficiency, whole-egg protein has a BV of 93.7 as compared to milk (84.5) fish (76.0), beef (74.3) and soybeans (72.8).4

Eggs also are an excellent source of choline, a good source of vitamin D and contain smaller amounts of B vitamins, plus A, E and K, in addition to lutein and zeaxanthin.


Choline, Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Eggs are one of the richest dietary sources of choline, an essential nutrient that plays an important role in fetal and infant brain development, affecting the areas of the brain responsible for memory and life-long learning ability.5, 6 Eggs also contain small amounts of zeaxanthin and well-absorbed lutein.7, 8 These carotenoids have been associated with reduced LDL oxidation9 and a decreased risk of cataracts and macular degeneration,10 a progressive eye condition that affects 9.1 million people in the U.S. over the age of 40 years.11 While eggs contain very small amounts of these nutrients, research has shown that the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs might be more bioavailable than from richer sources like spinach and kale.


Good Form

Formulators can select from among dried, liquid and frozen egg products available in whole egg, yolks and whites, with and without additional ingredients to provide longer shelf life or enhanced functionality. Egg products assist in emulsification, increasing volume and improving machinability while providing consistency in measurement and ensuring quality. Quality control managers can be assured that all products are pasteurized to destroy Salmonella and other bacteria. And, of course, egg products are label-friendly.


Keeping it Clean

Celiac consumers, due to the nature of their disorder are more educated than the average consumer about reading labels, and the average consumer is inspecting product labels today far more than in the past.

According to findings from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2014 survey,12 65 percent of consumers check the Nutrition Facts Panel and 52 percent read the ingredients list. Almost three-quarters of consumers or 71 percent of those responding cited healthfulness as a factor impacting their food and beverage purchases.

Listing eggs on the ingredient label keeps it short, familiar and nonthreatening to the celiac consumer. In addition, most egg ingredients add essential proteins to the nutritional value of the food, and proper nutrient intake is of utmost importance to this population. While machinability and processing will differ for gluten-free compared to traditional formulations, particularly in baking, certain ingredients provide greater benefits than others.

Listing eggs on the ingredient label keeps it short, familiar and nonthreatening to the celiac consumer.

With eggs in the formulation all types of gluten-free foods, including breaded appetizers, pizza, gravies, desserts, cookies and more function properly and present an appetizing appearance and taste. Egg ingredients exhibit a special affinity for solving formulation issues in gluten-free foods. Choose REAL eggs for a functional and nutritional ingredient that helps these specialty foods satisfy the gluten-free market

  1. Matos, ME, Sanz T, Rosell, CM: Establishing the function of proteins on the rheological and quality properties of rice based gluten free muffinsFood Hydrocolloid, 2014, 35:150-158.

  2. Raymond N, Heap J, Case S: The Gluten-Free Diet: An Update for Health Professionals. J Pract Gastro, 2006, 67-92(9).

  3. Cupples Cooper, C: Gluten free and healthy — dietitians can help reverse nutrition deficiencies common in celiac disease patientsToday’s Dietitian, 2012, 14(5): 24.

  4. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: The Amino Acid Content of Foods and Biological Data on Proteins. 1971. Nutrition Study #24; Rome, Italy.

  5. Zeisel SH: The fetal origins of memory: the role of dietary choline in optimal brain developmentJ Pediatr, 2006, 149: S131-136.

  6. Zeisel SH, da Costa KA: Choline: an essential nutrient for public healthNutr Rev, 2009, 67: 615-623.

  7. Chung HY, Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ: Lutein bioavailability is higher from lutein-enriched eggs than from supplements and spinach in men. J Nutr, 2004, 134: 1887-1893.

  8. Goodrow EF, Wilson TA, Houde SC, Vishwanathan R, Scollin PA, Handelman G, Nicolosi RJ: Consumption of one egg per day increases serum lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations in older adults without altering serum lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrationsJ Nutr, 2006, 136: 2519-2524.

  9. Giordano P, Scicchitano P, Locorotondo M, Mandurino C, Ricci G, Carbonara S, Gesualdo M, Zito A, Dachille A, Caputo P, et al: Carotenoids and cardiovascular riskCurr Pharm Des, 2012, 18: 5577-5589.

  10. Burke JD, Curran-Celentano J, Wenzel AJ: Diet and serum carotenoid concentrations affect macular pigment optical density in adults 45 years and older. J Nutr, 2005, 135:1208-1214.

  11. Website MDA: Facts, Figures and Statistics. 2014.

  12. IFIC: Food & health survey. 2014. International Food Information Council Foundation, Washington, D.C.

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Eggs & Egg Products

Eggs &
Egg Products

Information on different types of eggs and egg products available to foodservice professionals

Egg Types
We work hard to provide you with the highest quality variety of eggs, no matter what kind of eggs you choose

Shell Egg Sizes & Grades
A Foodservice guide to shell eggs
Conversion to Egg Products
The term Egg Products refers to processed or convenience forms of eggs obtained by breaking and processing shell eggs
Egg Composition & Nutrition
Converting from shell eggs to liquid or dried eggs in your formulas is really quite easy and wont affect your bowl cost

REAL Eggs Make a Real Difference

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REAL Eggs Make a Real Difference

There is no single one-to-one substitution that can replace the multiple functional and synergistic properties supplied by REAL egg ingredients.

The flavor, functionality and appeal of REAL eggs delivers the gold standard formulators expect and consumers demand. It is a gold standard product—measured by taste, texture and appearance—that prompts repeat purchases and results in market success. Formulators can achieve this with REAL egg ingredients.

Myths about food and nutrition abound. What might be called the “mis-information superhighway” is filled with contradictions. Often rumors spread faster than factual, scientifically backed information, which makes it difficult for consumers and professionals alike to discern the truth.

ProteinProponents claim superiority of egg-substitute ingredients compared to egg ingredients for formulation. While these alternatives function on a basic level, the question is, will they produce the gold standard products consumers expect? Egg ingredients provide the function, flavor, nutrition and overall performance expected in multiple applications, including baked goods, pasta, desserts, hand-held sandwiches, prepared meals and other product categories.

One Basic Ingredient, Essential Benefits

Egg ingredients supply more than twenty functional properties to foods, including aeration, binding, coagulation, emulsification, foaming and whipping, to name just a few. They perform these functions well under rigorous processing conditions, such as high shear and high temperature, proving their reliability through decades of modern food manufacturing.

Alternative ingredients have limited functionality, and can contribute to off flavors in the final products. In order to achieve full functionality and an appearance, taste and texture similar to the original formulation with eggs, an egg substitute may also require the addition of emulsifiers, oils, gums, polysaccharides, acids, enzymes, colorants or flavoring agents. This can create a lengthy label statement and result in a product that falls short of expectations for taste, texture or appearance.

Taste Ranks Number One


ProteinTaste still trumps any other measurement for product success. The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation 2015 Food & Health survey reported taste as the top factor influencing consumer’s food and beverage purchases, with taste selected as a primary purchase factor by 83 percent of those surveyed. Many manufacturers of ingredients positioned as egg replacers suggest incorporating their ingredients into products with a strong flavor, to mask off notes. Real egg ingredients allow formulators to create products without worrying about off-flavors.

Egg replacers are generally divided into three categories: plant-based replacers derived from soy, wheat, pea, etc.; whey protein-based; and carbohydrate or gum-based. Each has a unique set of characteristics that formulators must take into consideration. For example, some egg replacements do not emulate the sensory profile of REAL eggs and/or may contain a strong flavor. For others, the functional range may be limited.

Complementary or Complete Protein?

ProteinJust as functional differences exist between proteins, nutritionally not all are the same either. There are complementary or incomplete proteins and complete proteins. Plant-based proteins for example, would be considered incomplete or complementary because they would lack one or more of the nine essential amino acids in the proportion and/or the amount required by the human body. Complementary pairings ingested within a certain time frame must attempt to supply the complete set of essential amino acids the human body requires.1

Eggs are a high-quality protein, and considered complete because one egg supplies nine essential amino acids (EAA). These EAA are found in greater amounts in eggs than in vegetable-based proteins.2 Eggs contain the EAA leucine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis in the body. Because of their EAA profile and high digestibility, eggs have traditionally been used as the standard of comparison for measuring protein quality. In addition to its high-quality protein, one standard large egg supplies 13 other essential nutrients for a nutrition profile not found in any single substitute ingredient.3

Substitute ingredients have an amino acid content suppliers might describe as “complementary,” which means more than one type of protein must be used in formulation to supply a complete amino acid profile. Companies that manufacture these products sometimes identify the other ingredients a formulator might need to add to an application in order to create a complete protein. Instead of combining different ingredients, formulators can choose to use REAL eggs.


The protein source, whether animal- or plant-based, does affect sustainability. While plants produce a lower amount of greenhouse gases than animals, there are additional factors to consider when evaluating sustainability of a protein source. A landmark study that examined U.S. egg production practices over the last fifty years detailed the egg industry’s successful efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Improved hen feed, better disease control and reduced use of natural resources have benefited the environment as well as improved animal health. The study found that the U.S. egg industry lowered its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 71 percent and improved water use efficiencies by 32 percent during that time. The industry also met the needs of a U.S. population that grew by 72 percent over the last fifty years, while increasing the hen supply by just 18 percent.4,5

New studies take a different view of the greenhouse gas comparisons of foods by factoring in nutrient density, or the nutritional value a food offers. Drewnowski noted, “The American diet is said to be increasingly energy-rich but nutrient-poor.”6

ProteinA study published in 2015 compared the energy and nutrient density of foods in relation to their carbon footprint or GHG score.7 While sugar, sweets and grains exhibited the lowest GHGs, study authors stated they have “high energy density and a low nutrient content.”

The most nutrient-dense foods in the study had the highest GHG scores. However, GHG scores of individual foods differed depending on whether the score was made on a per weight basis, per energy basis or per nutrient density. Animal-based proteins typically offer a greater nutrient density than plant-based foods. The authors recommended further study saying, “Consideration of the environmental impact of foods needs to be linked to concerns about nutrient density and health.”

Eggs’ nutrient density is often overshadowed by concerns over the cholesterol content of egg yolks and the belief that consuming them will contribute to increased blood cholesterol levels and ultimately heart disease. However, clinical studies have shown that the majority of the population does not experience significant increases in plasma cholesterol even after an extended increase in dietary cholesterol.8,9 One recent study from 2013 examined the health effects of REAL eggs versus yolk-free egg substitutes in individuals diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The results showed that a diet with moderately restricted carbohydrates that included three whole eggs per day actually improved lipid metabolism and insulin resistance in these individuals to a greater extent than the diet using egg substitutes.10

The nutrient density of an egg yolk can help contribute to a healthy diet. In addition, egg yolks contain docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), essential nutrients for infant or adult neural development and maintenance.11,12


Allergy News

The prevalence of food allergies in the U.S. is increasing and no one disputes the serious nature of foodborne allergies. However, while an average of two percent of the population under age five is allergic to eggs, studies suggest that most children appear to outgrow their egg allergy by late childhood.

Recent studies find that changes in the protein structure of eggs, resulting from cooking, can make them safe for the majority of children with egg allergies. In one study, researchers discovered that initiation of a baked egg diet accelerates the development of regular egg tolerance compared with strict avoidance.13

In another study researchers served participants standard cake/bread recipes that used eggs as ingredients, in a preparation baked at 350° F for 30 minutes. It found that more than half of the children in the study (56 percent) could tolerate the egg baked in the cake or bread product.

Children who can tolerate heated egg products appear to outgrow their allergies to eggs at an accelerated rate, compared with children with an egg allergy who maintain strict avoidance of eggs.

A presentation at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting featured results of a survey of more than 40,000 children to find that of the eight most common food allergies in the U.S., egg allergy was the most likely for children to outgrow. Fifty-five percent of egg-allergic children ultimately developed a tolerance for eggs. Those who were diagnosed with an egg allergy before age ten were the most likely to go on to outgrow their allergy.14 The researchers said this evidence of outgrowing a food allergy could lead to these individuals being able to enjoy a much more diverse diet.

Formulating with Eggs

ProteinThe functional properties that egg ingredients provide to product formulations vary depending upon the application. However a few categories stand out.

Egg white added at 2-7 percent to pasta helps strengthen and improve pasta texture, bite and appearance, allowing for its use in a wide variety of environments, from steam tables to frozen prepared meals.

The quality and sensory properties of egg noodles declines when attempting to replace whole egg with substitute ingredients. Researchers testing cooking quality parameters, texture and color while experimenting with various substitutes found whole-egg noodles had less cooking loss and firmer texture compared with noodles prepared with substitute ingredients. And “none of the egg substitute’s studies could totally replace whole egg in the egg noodles without resulting in some loss of quality.” Further, the study said, “Noodle cooking quality is not strongly affected by the difference in protein content in egg substitutes. The results suggest that the chemical composition of the egg alternatives has more influence on the noodle quality than the protein content does.”15


In reviewing research efforts to reduce fat and cholesterol contents in salad dressing and mayonnaise, Ma and Boye16 reported the possibility of using plant-based ingredients or reduced-cholesterol egg yolk in the formulation of mayonnaise. They suggested that other ingredients with different functional roles, such as gums, starches, emulsifiers, stabilizers and fat replacers must be used to maintain the original viscoelastic properties of dressing and mayonnaise. The studies examined by the authors evaluated the behavior of using plant-based proteins, such as soybean, lupin, pea, and wheat proteins as emulsifiers to replace yolk. However, formulators might need to use multiple ingredients in order to compensate for the absence of egg’s functionalities. These additions can create labeling issues that conflict with the “Clean Label” consumer trend.



In the baking industry in particular, eggs supply binding, leavening, tenderizing, volume, texture, stabilization, emulsification, foaming, coagulation, flavor, color and nutritional value, with texture and sensory qualities as key parameters. Such a unique and extensive concentration of functional contributions is not likely to be found in a single substitute for eggs as an ingredient.

A test conducted using egg replacers in sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies found that a trained tasting panel rated the eggless cookies as significantly less acceptable than all other peanut butter cookies, judging them as unacceptable. Overall, cookies made with whole egg and egg white were ranked as significantly more acceptable than cookies made with an egg replacer. The researchers suggested that the omission of egg might have eliminated a major hydrating and binding agent in the dough, resulting in dry cookies with altered texture and flavor. The sugar cookie dough was, in fact, considered “not workable.” The researchers suggested “omitting egg from peanut butter or sugar cookies is not a viable alternative.”17


In a study conducted in 2013, researchers tested emulsifiers with different structures and functionalities. Seven eggless cakes containing soy milk were baked to determine the optimal proportions of emulsifiers necessary to produce an eggless cake sample. These included physical properties of cake batters (viscosity, specific gravity and stability), cake quality parameters (moisture loss, density, specific volume, color, texture, etc.) and sensory attributes. They then compared this with a control cake that contained egg. “Almost in all cases emulsifiers, compared to the control cake, changed properties of eggless cakes significantly,” the study concluded.18

Even in studies designed with the goal of proving that an egg replacer will work properly, the authors sometimes admit that eggs contribute “high nutritional value and multifunctional properties, including emulsification, coagulation, foaming and flavor,”19 and “because of the functional roles of egg in cake production it would be difficult to reduce or substitute egg in cake completely.”20

ProteinA 2011 study assessed muffins made with egg replacers representative of the three types of replacers available in the marketplace. A replacer containing a mixture of soy flour, wheat gluten, corn syrup solids and alginate; a fiber type of replacer containing sugar cane fiber, xanthan gum and guar gum; and a whey protein concentrate replacer. The soy flour produced muffins with the most intense aftertaste and least desirable overall flavor. The researchers found none of the replacers produced an acceptable product at 100 percent replacement and maximum replacement levels did not exceed 75 percent.21 Overall, the findings revealed that egg as an ingredient was critical to obtaining the desired product quality characteristics, as replacers altered moisture retention, bulk density, color, texture and flavor.

Kevin Keener, Ph.D., P.E., professor of food science and food process engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, pointed out that in an eggless cake comparison, while the egg is the most costly ingredient, it provides significant nutritional content and serves a variety of functional roles, including emulsification, coagulation, foaming, flavor and color development during baking. Keener said, “These functional roles are derived by the unique set of proteins present in the egg white and the lipoproteins in the yolk. The variety and content of the proteins and lipoproteins in the egg contribute to its unique ability to successfully function across a wide range of food applications.

“There have been many attempts to replace eggs with blending of lower cost plant and animal proteins and emulsifiers. The challenge is the egg protein functionality is a collective effect from a diverse set of the proteins and lipoproteins that exhibit functionality across a wide range of temperatures, storage conditions, baking conditions and food compositions. To date, all of the known animal and plant protein combinations that position themselves as egg replacers fall short in a number of roles. Thus, one can find a suitable substitute for achieving some desirable properties, but not all,” said Keener. Egg alternatives fall short of the formulation benefits found with REAL egg ingredients. Eggs’ versatile functional and nutritional properties make it difficult, if not impossible, to replace them with any single substitute.

  1. Woolf, PJ, Fu LL, Basu A. Protein: Identifying Optimal Amino Acid Complements from Plant-Based Foods. April 22. Doi; 10.1371/journal.pone.0018836.

  2. Layman D, Rodriquez N. Egg protein as a source of power, strength and energy. Nutrition Today 2009;44:43-47.

  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 27 Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl.

  4. American Egg Board. The Egg and Sustainability. /food-manufacturers/why-eggs/white-papers/the-egg-and-sustainability. (Accessed February 17, 2015).

  5. Egg Industry Center, Iowa State University. A comparative assessment of the environmental footprint of the U.S. egg industry in 1960 and 2010, August 2013. http://www.ans.iastate.edu/EIC/Media/50yrStudy/IndustryCenterReportEnv50yrStudy081613FINALWeb.pdf (Accessed February 17, 2015).

  6. Drewnowski, A. Concept of a nutritious food: toward a nutrient density score. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82(4):721-732.

  7. Drewnowski, A, Rehm CD, Martin A, Verger EO, Voinnesson M, Imbert P. Energy and Nutrient Density of Foods in Relation to their Carbon Footprint. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101:184-191.

  8. Fernandez ML, Webb D. The LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio as a valuable tool to evaluate coronary heart disease risk. J Am Coll Nutr 2008;27:1-5.

  9. Greene CM, Zern TL, Wood RJ, Shrestha S, Aggarwal D, Sharman MJ, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Maintenance of the LDL cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio in an elderly population given a dietary cholesterol challenge. J Nutr 2005;135:2799-28014.

  10. Blesso CN, Anderson CJ, Barona, J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013; 62:400-410.

  11. Wijendran V, Huang M, Diau G, Boehm G, Nathanielsz PW, Brenna J T. Efficacy of Dietary Arachidonic Acid Provided as Triglyceride or Phospholipid as Substrates for Brain Arachidonic Acid Accretion in Baboon Neonates. Ped Res, 2002;51:265-272.

  12. Gibson R A, Neumann M A, Makrides M. Effect of increasing breast milk docosahexaenoic acid on plasma and erythrocyte phospholipid fatty acids and neural indices of exclusively breast fed infants. Eur J Clin Nutr 1997;51:578-584.

  13. Leonard SA, Sampson HA, Sicherer SH, Noone S, Moshier EL, Godbold J, Nowak-Wegrzyn A. Dietary baked egg accelerates resolution of egg allergy in children. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2012; Aug;130(2):473-80.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.06.006.

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Technical Resources


Resources and information for foodservice professionals working with eggs and egg products

Egg Products and Specifications
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History and Safety
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Pasteurization Manual
Downloadable resource to help select adequate pasteurization processes according to performance standards
Conversion to Liquid/Dried Eggs
Converting from shell eggs to liquid or dried eggs in your formulas is really quite easy and wont affect your bowl cost
Nutrient Composition Tables
Downloadable resources available to quantify the nutrients found in eggs and egg products
Tech Talk Videos
Video resources on a variety of technical concepts related to eggs and egg products.

Egg Functionality

REAL Egg Functionality

REAL Egg ingredients supply foods with more than 20 functional properties, including aeration, binding, coagulation, emulsification, foaming and whipping, to name just a few.

FAQs about formulating with REAL Eggs
REAL eggs supply more than 20 functional properties in formulation, including binding, aeration, emulsification and coagulation to name a few.
REAL Eggs vs. Egg Replacers
Over the past few years there’s been a great deal of discussion, research and application work done to replace eggs with various products.
Egg Functionality Videos
This video series highlights the multifunctional benefits of egg products in a variety of food formulations.