We’re in the midst of the deadliest bird flu outbreak in US history, which is having a major impact on the global food industry.
Although Avian Influenza A viruses – largely spread by migrating wild birds – usually don’t infect people, there have been some rare cases, with results ranging in severity from no symptoms to a mild illness and even a severe disease that resulted in death.
As such, all infected commercial birds, along with their housemates – need to be culled, which has caused a major decrease in egg supply. Combine this with the costs of energy, rising feed costs ((more than 90% since 2019, according to the National Farmers’ Union) and labour shortages, and the price of eggs has surged, impacting the food industry, and especially the bakery sector.
Even the budding home baker is feeling the effect, with some cartons of eggs costing almost twice as much as they did a year ago.
In December 2022, the average price of a dozen large eggs was $5.46 versus the $0.89 at the start of 2020, according to data provided by Urner Barry, which follows the food commodity market. In some parts of the US, such as California, eggs are extra pricey, with a dozen eggs reportedly reaching $18.
In the UK, the egg crisis is impacting shoppers just as badly, with some packs costing always twice as much as they did a year ago.
Egg replacement for professionals
Clean label ingredients specialist Kröner-Stärke has a number of all-natural egg replacement products.
The REGG-EX range is based on raw materials produced out of selected wheat flours and comprises three reduction levels, depending on the customer’s desired application, including star (up to 30%/40%); sol (up to 30%-100%); and 100 (up to 100%).
The products can be used for a wide spectrum of end products, such as sponge cakes and muffins, as well as yeast-based items like brioches and milk rolls. Depending on the recipes of the final product, declaration can be neutral.
While the range will obviously help bakery manufacturers break the back of runaway costs of fresh eggs, it’s also set to be a game-changer for the growing vegan market.
The products are technically advanced and totally natural, which allows producers to simplify plant-based bakery formulas, while avoiding the use of artificial ingredients. They’re also designed to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the original recipe, and especially its texture.
In addition, the availability of the product is secured and the longer shelf life allows the customer to secure higher safety stocks to cover the demands.
“We have already supplied our egg replacer to a well-known frozen bakery company who was able to achieve an excellent end-product with the desired texture,” said Maren Finke, Kröner-Stärke’s product development technician. A further example involved supplying REGG-EX as 100% egg replacement for a European producer of milk bread rolls – again with outstanding results.”
Kröner-Stärke is showcasing its REGG-EX range at 2023 BioFach, being held in Nuremberg, Germany, from 14-17 February.
Reliable alternative for home and commercial bakers
Puris – a pioneer of plant-based food systems – launched its first consumer brand last year. Called AcreMade, it debuted with a Plant-Based Egg Substitute.
Touted to taste and function like an egg in home baking, as well as in high-volume commercial and industrial kitchens, the egg substitute is made from Puris’ star protein ingredient – non-GMO yellow field peas – which, claims the company, fuels the consumer’s hunger and a regenerative food system at the same time. Peas are among the crops with the smallest environmental impact.
Additionally, the brand uses Upcycled Certified pea starch, which decreases waste while improving sustainability metrics.
Peas benefit each link in the food chain by building soil health and unlocking more possibilities within the plant-based category by requiring few resources to grow, all while delivering high nutritional content to eaters.
Touted to be a game-changer, AcreMade’s product is bang on the money as a plant-based egg product, with sales of vegan eggs drumming up $1.5bn in sales in 2021 and expected to soar to $3.3bn in the next decade, according to Fact.MR.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company claims the shelf-stable powder is easy to use in multiple applications, from scrambling to baking (quiches, cakes, cookies and even noodle dishes).
It’s also free from the top nine allergens and comparable to traditional eggs from a nutrition standpoint — containing 5g of pea protein per serving and 0 mg of cholesterol.
“We’re thrilled to be launching AcreMade as our first direct to consumer brand,” said Nicole Atchison, CEO of AcreMade and Puris Holdings.
“From seed to shelf, grower to finished product, Puris has the capability, network and resources to uniquely improve the food journey, and create products that consumers love. AcreMade is another step towards healthier choices for people, practices that are safe for soil and animals, and a food supply ready to feed a growing planet.”
But best of all, it’s price stable. AcreMade’s Substitute is available in bulk, as well as multipack cases of 8 x 4.9oz bags (12 egg servings per pouch) for an RRP of $54.99.
Thinking outside the box
Stonyfield Organic – owned by French group Lactalis, the world’s second largest diary company – is doing its own bit in this cost-of-living crisis and is urging consumers to swap eggs for yoghurt to avoid precious, pricey eggs.
Just use ¼ cup of yoghurt for each egg replaced to create home baked treats from pancakes to muffins.
The brand claims a serving of Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Plain yoghurt has the same amount of protein as a medium egg – with both clocking in at 6g.
For American bakers quick off the mark, the brand is also giving away 10,000 32oz tubs of Stonyfield Organic yogurt between 2-11 February, or while supplies last.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3½ tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ cup Stonyfield Organic plain yoghurt
Sift flour, BP, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly add milk, butter and yoghurt, stirring until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or pan over medium high heat. Ladle about ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle and gently cook until bubbles start to form (about 2-3 mins). Flip and cook until brown on the other side.