Frozen Egg Products

Chilled or frozen eggs, yolks, and whites are currently the major high-volume products of egg-breaking plants. These and other products are described subsequently. They usually are frozen in various carton sizes, plastic bags, 30-lb plastic cans, or 55-gal drums. Freezing is usually accomplished by air blasts at temperatures ranging from — 10 to — 40°F. Pasteurized products designated for freezing must be frozen solid or cooled to a temperature of at least 10°F within 60 h after pasteurization. Newer

Table 2 Further processed egg products most commonly used in commercial foods

Egg product

Whole egg


• Frozen or deep frozen


• Crystallized

Food uses

Egg noodles, bakery and pastry, ice cream Mayonnaise, sauces Bakery and pastry, egg noodles (depending on local legislation), stuffing for pasta, premix for bakery and ice cream

Bakery and pastry, ice cream, egg noodles

Bakery and pastry, ice cream Ice cream, pastry

Bakery and pastry, premix for bakery, pastry, and ice cream

Ice cream, bakery and pastry, confectionery (meringue, torrone) Premix for ice cream and pastry, premix for soups and batters Confectionery (meringue, torrone)

Table 3 Functional properties of eggs and their contributions to various food products




Adhesive properties

Adheres ingredients such as

Health bars,

seeds and grains to food products

variety breads, snacks

Aeration and

Creates foam in products, resulting in lighter

• Meringues

structure improvement

and airier products

• Mousses


Holds together food products

• Snack foods

• Prepared entrees


Provides desirable brown color to baked products

• Rolls and buns

• Variety breads


Egg whites inhibit enzymatic browning and

• Wines

discoloration in beverages

• Juices


Egg whites and yolks convert liquids into a solid state

• Cakes and frostings

• Sauces


Locks in flavor and aroma

• Baked goods

• Snacks


Contributes yellow color to many foods

• Baked products

• Noodles

• Custards

Crystallization control

Prevents crystallization of sugar and promotes

• Confections

smoothness of chocolate


Phospholipids and lipoproteins serve as surface active

• Salad dressings

agents allowing emulsions such as oil and water

• Sauces


Used universally in baking to improve product appearance

• Sweet breads

Egg wash gives surface gloss and shine

• Cookies

• Frostings


Carries and melds some flavors, improves others,

• Custards

and imparts desirable egg flavor

• Confections


Improves texture and acceptibility of products

• Frozen doughs

through freeze/thaw cycle

• Microwavable foods


Holds moisture in food products to help increase shelf life

• Variety breads

• Rolls


Keeps products from turning soggy

• Breads

• Frozen doughs

Mouth feel improvement

Provides substantial body to foods

• Variety breads

• Sweet goods

• Puddings


Stable pH

• Will not disrupt food

product formulations.

Shelf life extension

Keeps starch molecules moist and maintains fresh formulations

• Commercial bread


Tenderizes foods naturally, giving a soft surface feel

• Soft breads

• Rolls

Texture improvement

Firms up the texture of food products and provides

• Rolls

crumb improvement

• Light foods


Thickens sauces and gravies and adds body to achieve

• Sauces

product improvement

• Toppings

• Prepared foods

mdustry[3] (Fig. 1). Today, most of the relatively short-shelf life egg products are available in chilled form. UHT development was initially aimed at producing nonrefrigerated sterile milk with superior palpability by replacing conventional sterilization at 250°F for about 12 to 20 min, with sterilization at 275°F for 3 to 5 seconds.

UHT treatment of liquid eggs is more complicated, as egg proteins are more sensitive to heat treatment and cannot be sterilized. Therefore, UHT liquid eggs must be kept under refrigeration. Ultrapasteurized, aseptically filled, chilled, whole-liquid egg product is now available in packages from 1 to 200 lb to institutional food establishments,

Fig. 1 Ultrapasteurization system for liquid eggs (Italy).

Fig. 2 Ultrapasteurized, aseptically filled, chilled liquid eggs in restaurant packaging.

restaurants, and for the food industry (Fig. 2). Egg whites are available in retail outlets; however, liquid whole eggs are not.

Egg Substitutes

In order to satisfy the demand for low-cholesterol egg products, substitutes are made from egg white, which does not contain cholesterol. The yolk is replaced with vegetable oil, food coloring, gums, and nonfat dry milk. Recent formulations have reduced the fat content to almost zero. These products are packaged in cardboard containers and sold frozen or chilled in numerous formula variations in retail outlets and restaurants.[4]


Spray drying is the most commonly used method for egg dehydration. However, other methods are used for specific products such as scrambled eggs, which are made by freeze-drying, and egg white products, which are usually made by pan-drying to produce a flakelike product. The products are packaged into fiber drums lined with vapor-retarding liners. The moisture level in dehydrated products is usually around 5% or less.[5]

Whole-egg and yolk products naturally contain some reducing sugars. In order to extend the shelf life of these products and to prevent color change through the browning (Maillard) reaction, the glucose in the eggs is

Fig. 3 Drum and bags of dried egg products.

Fig. 2 Ultrapasteurized, aseptically filled, chilled liquid eggs in restaurant packaging.

Fig. 3 Drum and bags of dried egg products.

removed by baker's yeast. Yeast consumes the glucose within 2 to 3 h at 86°F. The liquid is then pasteurized in continuous heat exchanges at 142°F for 4 min and dried. Whole-egg and yolk powder have excellent emulsifying, binding, and heat-coagulating properties, whereas egg white possesses whipping capabilities.

Liquid eggs can be combined before drying with other ingredients such as milk and other dairy products, sucrose, corn syrup, and other carbohydrates. Standard egg products are commonly used by food processors; however, many egg products are custom-made to specific customer requirements. Common refrigerated, frozen, or dry egg products are summarized in Table 2. Dry egg products are packaged in moisture-proof bags or drums (Figs. 3 and 4).

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