Gum Technology targets total egg replacement in bakery
The new ingredient – Coyote Brand Baker’s 2 Egg Replacer – follows the launch in April of the firm’s line of egg replacer products.
The ingredients could appeal to manufacturers looking to reduce costs or even add extra fiber into their products, according to Gum Technology’s R&D chef Sarah Martin.
“Replacing eggs helps to cut production costs, eliminates one of the most common food allergens, and creates possibilities for better vegan baking,” she said.
The latest addition to the line can replace up to 100 percent of egg yolks and whites in baked goods such as muffins and cakes while maintaining a desirable texture and appearance, claimed the company.
The product is marketed as an “all natural” blend of sugarcane fiber, xanthan gum and guar gum. It is used at 20 percent of the weight of the egg removed, by adding it to water to make up the remaining 80 percent of egg weight.
A similar product – Baker’s Egg Replacer – mixes xanthan, guar and soy lecithin, and is said to "improve texture, cell structure and increase uniformity" in cakes and muffins and in cookies. It can replace up to 50 percent of eggs in baked goods.
Usage levels for cakes and muffins range from 0.10 to 0.50 percent, while the upper usage for cookies is 0.30 percent.
As with other animal produce, egg prices have increased in the past year as a result of higher costs for grain. This presents food formulators with a quandary. Eggs are important to provide structure and texture in a number of food categories - yet the higher costs are putting pressure on their margins.
While food manufacturers can pass on some of the costs, this is not possible for all. Some firms are taking a long hard look at formulations, to see whether they can use cheaper, alternative ingredients to achieve the same results.
Another egg replacer launched earlier this year by Gum Technology is intended for use in custards.
It consists of carageenan and locust bean gum and can be used to replace up to 100 per cent of egg in instant custards for use in crème caramels and flans at a usage level of 0.25 to 0.50 percent, or as an extender in quickes and frittatas.
In 'traditional' products the usage level ranges from 0.10 to 0.40 percent, and in 'savory' products from 0.10 to 0.50 percent. The company says it can avoid the problem of syneresis, or coagulation.
The Dough Egg Replacer, meanwhile, for use in breads and sweet doughs, is a blend of konjac and soy lecithin, and can replace up to 100 percent of egg at a usage level of 0.10 to 0.40 percent.
Feed grains such as corn and soybeans make up around 50 per cent of the cost of producing a raw egg, but a combination of poor harvests and demand for grains from biofuels mean egg farmers are reporting a 25 per cent increase in grain costs per dozen eggs - from 15 cents to 20 cents.
According to the USDA, the average price of a dozen eggs at wholesale in New York n the first quarter of 2007 was $1.05; the department's economists are predicting that the price for the same period of this year will average at $1.60.