Reformulated whey protein is effective egg replacer, says Arla

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

An improved formulation on an egg replacement whey protein based ingredient can enable a saving of up to 30 per cent on liquid egg costs for sponge cake manufacturers, claims Arla Food Ingredients.

Kim Jensen, technical manager for bakery, said the supplier’s new milk protein Nutrilac BK-7900 contributes to a very stable cake batter, leading to low batter density and can reduce or entirely replaces eggs in a typical sponge recipe with no pre-blending or cooling required.

He told that while whey protein replacement for eggs is not novel, Arla’s approach and products differs from its competitors in that the teams at the Danish company’s R&D and application centres are continually developing protein fractions that can be tailored to specific product applications.

“We have enhanced the functionality of an older whey protein for use in sponge cake manufacture.

Sponge cakes are a challenge in terms of egg reduction as they have low specific gravity but we have managed to replicate the whipping property of eggs with a recipe mix including the protein, water and flour, which results in a high volume in the finished sponge cake,”​ added Jensen.

Whey proteins from cow's milk are used as emulsifiers in a broad range of food products including ice creams, beverages, salad dressing and sports supplements, and are classified as either concentrates (protein content between 25 and 80 per cent) or isolates (more than 90 per cent protein).

Fluctuating costs

Jensen maintains that the use of Nutrilac BK-7900 can help bakers offset increasing egg costs, with eggs being the most expensive commodity in sponge cake production.

Indeed, ingredients makers have been reporting a growing demand from bakers for egg alternatives due to the volatility in the egg market.

Regarded as a premium ingredient with a high value-added perception from the consumer, eggs also hold a strong appeal for product formulators due to their wide range of functionalities, including coagulation, emulsification, foaming and crystallisation control.

Pilot scale

Jensen said that bakers of all sizes can use Arla’s pilot-scale equipment to test the protein in their products, and this has the net effect of reducing waste and shortens the time to market of new products.

“We can run up to ten tests a day but, generally, just four to six tests are necessary to determine the optimum solution,”​ said Jensen.

He said that all parameters are computer controlled for precise simulation of the continuous processes applied within individual bakeries.

Jensen said that the ingredient supplier will also assist bakery manufacturers in terms of scaling up a recipe on an industrial level and that no adjustments are required to processing machinery when incorporating the new protein into cake production.

Proven results

Arla said that a 21-day shelf-life test, carried out at its bakery laboratory to determine how effective egg replacement with Nutrilac BK-7900 is in sponge cakes, demonstrated that the cake maintains the texture and moisture of a 100 per cent egg equivalent.

“Hardness, springiness and resilience were measured using a texture profile analyzer from Stable Micro Systems. At a speed of 5mm/second, the plastic 28mm probe was twice pushed 40 per cent down into a 30mm-deep sample. There was a 5-second interval between the two pressure applications,” ​stated the supplier.

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