“Bakeries operate on pretty thin margins at the best of times,” says Kieran Wollin, Technical Advisor and Product Developer for Bakery Craft and former baker himself. “They are always on the lookout for ways to manage costs – without risking quality,” he says.
When an outbreak of avian flu threatened egg and poultry farms in Victoria last month, buyers were immediately on the watch for supply shortages and increasing costs.
Eggs have long been a volatile ingredient category, and when added to the rising cost of flour, and ongoing COVID-supply chain shortages, many bakeries and pastry manufactures’ costs are increasing just as they can least afford it.
Eggs are one category where manufacturers, and bakers’ in particular, can take cost out by making the switch from liquid eggs, to natural egg powder: “When you consider that liquid eggs are 75 per cent water, that’s a lot of money to pay for H2O and a lot of waste!” explains Kieran.
In addition to improved cost management, Kieran lists four key benefits of making the switch to powdered eggs:
- Extended shelf life with no need for cold chain transport or storage
- Easy, cost-effective shipping and warehousing thanks to reduced weight per volume of whole egg equivalent – and without the risk of shell breakage
- With shell and moisture removed, there is almost no wastage with egg powder
- No rehydration needed – blend with other dry ingredients and adjust water accordingly
Egg-cellent spray-dried technology
If powdered eggs make you think of pale, tasteless canteen-style scramble, forget what you think you know. “Today’s premium egg powders are formulated to deliver exacting, high performance results,” says Kieran.
Egg powder was first made available during World War II to supplement the fresh egg allowance while rationing was in place. Non-perishable, easily shipped in bulk, egg powder was promoted by the Government as a nutritious, protein-rich foodstuff.
“Back then, egg powder was a poor substitute for the real thing and it’s struggled to shake that reputation,” says Kieran, “Today, premium suppliers use a fresh, 100% natural eggs and use a spray-drying technique which does a far better job of preserving the eggs’ natural proteins than older methods.”
The spray-drying process not only extends shelf life (up to 24 months in a cool, dry environment) but also reduces the chance of bacterial contamination, compared to liquid eggs.
Although drying historically reduced the foaming potential and gel strength, premium manufacturers today are able to preserve those functional qualities in hi whip and hi gel formulations.
According to Kieran, the Italian-sourced premium egg powders he works with at Bakery Craft can be substituted for liquid eggs in just about any application, from cakes and muffins, to mayonnaise, ice cream, fresh pasta and even meringues.
That said, it is important to select the right product for your application. For example, at Bakery Craft, traceable, high-animal welfare (barn and free range) options are available across a range of formulations, including:
- Whole egg powder
- Egg yolk powder
- Egg albumen powder (Hi Whip or Hi Gel formulations)
Optimise your supply chain costs and protect the quality of your product by making the switch to high quality natural, powdered eggs!
Click here to discuss making the shift to egg powder.