Uses of eggs in food preparation

Eggs are a crucial component in a wide array of food preparation techniques, contributing significantly to the texture, flavour, nutrition, and appearance of food products. From adhesion to whipping, on this page we're listing some of the many benefits of using eggs in food prep.


Proteins found in egg products, specifically egg whites, act as binding agents and can therefore help with adhesion. Coagulation occurs when a product is heated or exposed to acid, which causes the egg products to change from a liquid to a solid. This process of solidification helps ingredients stick together. Further to this, depending on the desired texture, egg yolks and whole eggs can be used to retain moisture, while egg white proteins will draw out moisture.

Benefits: Egg products have adhesive properties which can help food manufacturers achieve the desired structure of a product. Egg protein coagulation can prevent products from falling apart and losing their shape, whilst also helping achieve the desired moisture levels.


Foods made with egg products

Aeration is the process of adding air and gas into a liquid solution. Aeration allows food manufacturers to create the desired product structure and texture. Aeration can be achieved through multiple methods, such as biological, chemical, physical, mechanical, or a combination of each.

Eggs can supply aeration via the mechanical method, as when they are beaten or whipped they can incorporate air cells into a product. The viscose nature of egg products is ideal for supplying air cells to food. Whipping or beating eggs creates numerous small air bubbles. Specifically, egg whites can create the largest possible food foam and the greatest volume of air bubbles in comparison to egg yolks or whole eggs. This is because egg whites contain ovalbumin and ovomucin proteins.

Benefits: Using egg products for aeration purposes helps food manufacturers to create the desired product structure and texture.


Antimicrobials are substances that eradicate microorganisms, such as bacteria or mould, and eliminate their chances of growing and spreading disease. Egg white proteins carry antimicrobial properties, such as lysozyme, which is often incorporated into food packaging materials.

Benefits: egg products are a natural solution for eradicating the growth of microorganisms, and their antimicrobial properties can help to increase the shelf life of a product by reducing the spread of bacteria.


Eggs exhibit excellent binding properties, meaning they help hold ingredients together. Specifically, egg proteins can react with other ingredients to bind them together via processes of gelation or coagulation. This helps food products to maintain desirable structure, texture and mouthfeel.

Benefits: Egg products are a natural way to improve long-term product quality, preventing products from losing their form, while maintaining the intended shape and texture, ensuring appeal from a visual and taste perspective. Binding also creates the light and airy texture required for baked goods.


Egg whites can be used as a clarifying agent to enable impurities to be removed from a liquid.

Benefits: The clarifying qualities of egg white, offer a natural solution for removing impurities, thereby improving product quality and extending the shelf life of your product.


Coagulation occurs when a product changes from a fluid or liquid state to a solid or semisolid state. The coagulation process cannot be reversed. Eggs coagulate when exposed to heat, sugar, acids, alkali, and by mechanical methods such as beating or whipping, which causes the proteins to denature. Eggs contain multiple different proteins; these proteins coagulate when heated, but at different temperatures. Egg white protein coagulates between 62.2-65C, egg yolk protein between 65-70C, and whole egg protein coagulates between 62.6-70C.

Benefits: Coagulation is one of the egg’s most important functions for food manufacturers, as it can effectively bind foods together, thicken formulas, and support the structure of baked goods, delivering visual appeal and a desirable texture.


Egg whites and yolks can provide a natural coating, glaze, gloss, or finishing to food products. When eggs are used as a coating or gloss, the proteins coagulate and help retain moisture levels. Therefore, coating can help seal in moisture, and thereby extend shelf life. When egg whites are used as a coating, the proteins coagulate and attract moisture from the item, which helps form a crisp exterior. An egg wash can also help produce a glossy appearance to the baked item. When heated, this egg wash creates a brown or bronzed sheen.

Benefits: Eggs are a clean-label way to not only improve the aesthetics of a product, but also help achieve the desired texture, moisture, and toppings of a wide variety of baked goods.


Eggs can enhance product colour in two ways. Firstly, eggs can brown the exterior of a product, such as baked goods. When exposed to heat, egg proteins endure a ‘Maillard’ reaction, which produces the desirable brown colour. Secondly, eggs can colour the product itself, such as mayonnaise. The colour of foods often comes from the colour of the egg yolk. The egg yolk remains stable in most food processing conditions and retains its colour throughout cooking, baking, heating, and freezing.

Benefits: Egg products, while being multi-functional, are a natural way to provide desirable colouring for food products. Eggs can therefore remove the need for artificial colouring.

Crystallisation control

Crystallisation control is key when it comes to preparing food products. Egg products can help regulate crystallisation through their ability to emulsify and foam. The proteins in egg whites act as an interfering agent that can decrease the pace of crystallisation.

Benefits: Egg products are a single ingredient, natural and successful solution for helping to regulate crystallisation through their ability to emulsify and foam.

Edible packaging

Egg whites can be used to create edible packaging films, reducing reliance on plastic. Transparent egg white films can be used as pockets for food ingredients or as water-soluble packets. It is the albumen within egg products that provides a suitable source of protein for coatings and films.

Benefits: Using egg products creates a more transparent film for edible or water soluble packaging than those made with other ingredients, such as wheat gluten or soy protein.


A major function of egg whites, whole eggs, and egg yolks is for their emulsifying capacity. Egg yolks contain multiple emulsifiers, which are essential for various food processes, including creating sauces such as mayonnaise or hollandaise, providing a smooth texture for ice cream, as well as slowing down melting. As an emulsifier, eggs can reduce surface tension and act as a stabilising agent.

Benefits: Eggs provide a natural, one-ingredient solution for emulsification. They can help increase product volume, product shelf life, improve colouring, and provide a delicate crumb or crust. Emulsification also allows ingredients to be blended properly.

Flavour and taste

Flavour enhancement is a key benefits of using egg products. Egg yolks contain specific fats that can heighten the flavours of other ingredients within a product. For example, the fats present in egg yolks allow richer flavours to develop in the product.

Benefits: Using egg products allows food manufacturers to maximise the flavour and texture of a food product, naturally – a quality replacers are unable to replicate.


Egg production

Eggs are a unique nutritional powerhouse. Therefore, when foods are formulated with eggs, they gain nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and protein.

Benefits: Egg powder, chilled liquid and frozen eggs, hold similar nutritional values and functional properties to fresh shell eggs. No single product can replicate the multiple functionalities, nutrients and synergistic properties of an egg. By using egg alternatives to attempt to replicate the nutrient-dense egg, food manufacturers will increase the length and complexity of the ingredient label and lose the natural appeal of the product.


Eggs are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods, containing high-quality protein and amino acids. Eggs are also naturally rich in vitamin D, B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, iodine, selenium and contain several other essential dietary vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal ingredient for fortifying health-focused foods and drinks.

Benefits: Eggs offer a natural and sustainable source for boosting the protein, vitamin and mineral content of food and drink.


Humectants are substances that can be used to keep food products moist. Humectancy requires a specific formula to achieve the desired level of moistness. Eggs can help retain moisture by binding water to create the required cell structure within the product. Cell structure is important in food manufacturing as it helps retain moisture.

Benefits: Eggs are natural humectants, which help reduce moisture loss, improve product texture and density, and help extend the shelf life of baked goods.


Eggs act as a leavening agent. When mixed with heat, acid, or liquid, a leavening agent causes a substance to expand and increase in volume. Firstly, eggs add liquid to a product, which, when heated, is converted to steam. Steam is an essential element in leavening, which helps produce shape and texture. Similarly, when whipped, egg whites help aerate a product by adding air cells which can then be filled by steam. Thirdly, incorporating an acid can help improve and enhance the egg white foam.

Benefits: When air interacts with the protein in egg whites, they have the ability to expand greater than their original size, making eggs perfect for delivering the leavening process, naturally. This helps create the desired shape, texture, and structure of the final product.

pH levels

In general, whole eggs are typically pH-neutral, but egg whites are naturally alkaline. At the time of lay, egg whites can contain an initial pH value as low as 7.6, but the alkalinity increases as the egg ages. The pH of the albumen increases to approximately 9.3-9.5, which is too high for bacteria to penetrate, thereby functioning as an antibacterial defence. Refrigeration can reduce the rate of pH change, alongside reducing the egg white from thinning.

Benefits: pH levels are a very important measurement within the food manufacturing industry. As egg pH levels are stable and neutral, using egg products will not disrupt food product formulas and properties. Having a pH-neutral status also allows food manufacturers to meet regulatory requirements and reduces the spread of bacteria or health problems to consumers.


The perceived richness of a product, sauce, or condiment can be attributed to eggs in two ways. Firstly, the emulsifying qualities of eggs ensures the even distribution of liquid and fat throughout a mixture or product. Secondly, the colour of eggs plays a role in the perceived richness of a product.

Benefits: Egg yolks can create a rich colour within products, which helps their perceived freshness and quality. The coating and colouring of food products is a good indicator of quality and aids appearance.

Shelf life and expiration

Using egg products is a natural solution to extending the shelf life and quality of food. Firstly, egg yolks contain lecithin, a natural emulsifier and binding agent that stops mixtures from separating. Secondly, egg whites contain proteins that help aerate a product, which maintains freshness and volume. Finally, the bright yellow colouring of eggs lends itself to the perceived quality of a product.

Benefits: Egg products, such as powdered eggs, can be used in a wide range of products by food manufacturers to extend shelf life. They can be used both with and without rehydration. Egg products are available in large quantities and forms that food manufacturers need for scaled-up operations, which can reduce costs, and deliver a clean label product.

Texture and structure

Egg proteins have a range of textural functions, including moisture retention and emulsification. These functions are vital when it comes to baking, as they can help build the desired texture, structure, and foundations of a product. Firstly, moisture is essential for baked goods. Not only does moisture improve texture, but it also prevents products from going stale and growing mould and therefore extends the shelf life. Secondly, egg yolks contain natural emulsifiers, such as lecithin and phospholipids. These emulsifiers prevent liquids from separating and therefore contribute towards the desired structure and texture of a product.

Benefits: Achieving the desired texture for manufactured food products is fundamental to success within the industry.


Egg products play an important role in creating baked goods and frozen desserts. When whipped, eggs and egg whites turn into a foam which helps trap air bubbles into a product. Eggs, therefore, supply aeration, which helps achieve the desired volume, texture and appearance of the baked good.

Benefits: The natural whippability of eggs helps to successfully deliver the desired volume, texture and appearance of baked goods, whether using whole egg, egg white, egg yolk, or dried eggs.