Egg white powder is simply egg white that has been spray dried. Spray drying involves spraying the egg whites into hot air within a dryer chamber; it is essentially the same as the process used to make powdered milk. Early forms of egg white powder were made by drying the egg whites and then grinding them into powder. The spray drying process eliminates the need for grinding. After being spray dried, the egg white powder is pasteurized to rid it of microbial contamination.
Powdered eggs have been around since the early part of the 20th century; they were mentioned as a staple of camp cooking by the Boy Scouts. The benefit was the same as that of powdered egg whites, which is that it is a shelf stable product.
The method of spray drying egg was developed as a means of supplying the military with food that did not require refrigeration.
During World War II, egg powder was imported from the US to the UK to be provided to the population as rations. There, they went by the name ersatz eggs. The egg powder of this time was noted for having an off flavor, which may have been due to the poor drying technology of the time or the lack of pasteurization. Cake mixes in the 1950s omitted the egg and the recipes required the use of fresh eggs. Egg white powder never suffered from that issue, which is why many angel food cake mixes never required the addition of fresh eggs. That continues to the present day as these mixes often contain egg white powder.
Egg white powder flavor profile
When water is added to egg white powder, it converts into a liquid with all of the properties of egg white including the flavor. It is slightly salty with subtle mineral notes, but is mostly bland.
Egg white powder health benefits
Egg white powder is nutritious; its benefits come from nutrients like:
- Protein: Egg whites are an excellent source of protein, and so is egg white powder. It is so rich in protein that it can be an effective protein supplement.
- Riboflavin: Egg whites and egg white powder are excellent sources of riboflavin, which is also known as vitamin B2.
- Minerals: Egg white powder contains moderate amounts of potassium and magnesium, but is an excellent source of selenium.
The nutritional profile of egg white powder makes it an effective addition to your diet if you want to treat or prevent health conditions like:
- Obesity: Egg white powder is fat-free, which means that is a great protein source for those trying to lose weight.
- Dairy allergies: Whey and casein proteins are often recommended for people who want to gain muscle mass. If you are allergic to dairy proteins, egg white powder can be a good substitute in that it provides a similar amount of protein per serving.
Egg white powder is useful in any recipe that calls for egg whites since it can easily be reconstituted by adding a little water. Use egg white powder to make angel food cake, macaroons or meringue for a lemon meringue pie. Yet another application is as a coating for bread dough. You can brush egg white onto bread dough to help sesame seeds or poppy seeds stick to the surface, or if you want the bread to have a glossy appearance.
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