DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Egg yolks have long headed consumers' list of taboo food ingredients because of their high-fat and -cholesterol content. Nutrasweet Co. here is betting that it can change that with the introduction of Eggcellent, a low-fat, low-cholesterol egg yolk.
This flowable, powdered egg yolk product contains 74% less fat and 90% less cholesterol than whole egg yolks when reconstituted on an equal protein basis, the company said.
However, it retains many of the flavor and functional attributes of a full fat and cholesterol yolk. It retains the protein-lecithin complex found in regular egg yolk, which binds oil with water and is responsible for emulsification in products such as mayonnaise. It also promotes volume in baked goods.
Kenn Vest, market development manager for Eggcellent, predicts the product will have a broad-based appeal. "It would work perfectly for a liquid egg [product], something the grocery store would fit between all of the current egg substitutes and shell eggs."
He continued. "As nutritional expectations for products like baked goods, ice cream and mayonnaise become more demanding, this becomes an attractive alternative."
He added that this ingredient could support development of new products that could not be made without it, such as French vanilla ice cream, egg noodles or custards, each of which has a "standard of identity" which requires egg yolk.
To make Eggcellent, yolks are dried in a proprietary process using minimum heat. Fat and cholesterol are then removed by carbon dioxide extraction. Sorbitol acts as a processing aid.
In an ingredient legend, Eggcellent appears as "low-fat, low-cholesterol egg yolks" or, if used with egg whites in the proper proportions, as "low-fat, low-cholesterol eggs."
"That's a simple description of what the product is," noted Vest. "It is consumer-friendly as well. It is much better than the list generated by some of the other replacement products for egg yolks."
The trademarked Eggcellent name is not a requirement for products containing the ingredient, but Nutrasweet will make its use available for its customers if they wish to display it on the package.