Hard Cooked Eggs

The preparation of hard-cooked eggs has been a function of kitchens for many years. In about 1970 the production of hard-cooked eggs for sale to salad bars, restaurants, and commercial food caterers was begun. The original products were cooked in hot water, partially cooled, peeled, and stored in a solution of citric acid and sodium benzoate. The concentration of the citric acid was initially 2% but has been lowered over the last 28 years to from 0.5 to 0.8%. The lower levels of acid produce eggs with softer cooked whites, much closer to freshly cooked eggs.

Cooking of hard-cooked eggs is now being done either in steam or hot water. Peeling of eggs was primarily a hand operation aided by equipment to crack the shells. Equipment has been developed that strips the shell from a cracked hard cooked egg so that efficiencies of production have been significantly increased. With improvements in packaging technology, some hard-cooked eggs are now marketed as a dry-packed, refrigerated product. It is estimated that almost 1% of all eggs are now being marketed as hard-cooked product.

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