Breaking an Egg Replacement Project into Stages
We recommend the following stepwise approach to optimizing the use of an egg replacer in a sweet baked product.
Begin trials with the standard substitution ratios and within the range of suggested replacement percentages listed in Functionality and Basic Usage
We recommend that the initial trial use the following ratios:
- Substitute 1:1 when replacing whole egg powder with either BLUE100 or BLUE155-A
- BLUE100: Use a ratio of 4:1 or 5:1 water-to-egg replacer, when replacing liquid whole eggs
- BLUE155-A: Use a ration of 3:1 water-to-egg replacer, when replacing liquid whole eggs
Note the quality differences in the first trial, and remember that you are not likely to have success on the first trial. Converting from a control with eggs to an optimized reduced-egg or egg-free formula is a process. Each of the systems affected by the reduction of eggs must be addressed in a stepwise fashion.
Get the water adjusted in the replacement formula
It is important that the batter or dough be properly balanced in terms of water to solids. Soy-based egg replacers are more hydrophilic than eggs, and so will have a tendency to make a dough stiffer and a batter more viscous.
It is common for initial trials to exhibit water-related quality differences such as:
- Lower volume
- Longer bake time
- Reduced spread (in cookies)
- Tight or closed grain
- Crumbly texture
These are all symptoms of a water imbalance, and will improve by balancing the formula. This is the first and most important step to success.
If the batter is more viscous or the dough is more stiff than the control, incrementally reduce the amount of egg replacer in the formula, replacing with an equal amount of water. Continue adjusting the replacer down and the water up until the desired dough strength and batter viscosity properties have been achieved.
If there is a need to keep water to a minimum for production reasons, replace the egg replacer solids with a combination of wheat flour AND water, rather than all water.
After balancing the formula, re-evaluate the qualities of the baked product, and make note if they have been improved from the initial trial. In particular, note whether the texture and eating properties have been improved.
Begin to address the volume and structure differences in the replacer formula
Standard techniques for improving volume and grain can be applied to the formulation. These may include:
- Adjusting the leavening system
- Some formulas benefit from the addition of a late-acting leavening system
- Using a higher or lower protein wheat flour
- Adding some xanthan gum to the formula to improve structure
- For cookies, using a combination of cake and pastry flour to fine tune the spread
Note that it is common with the use of BLUE100 to observe an increase in the gumminess of cakes.
- Sodium alginate is a gum that forms a gel in the presence of calcium. A reduction in the other sources of calcium can help reduce the gumminess.
- Increasing the wheat flour can help reduce gumminess.
- The mouthfeel is likely to help you determine the maximum amount of egg replacement that can be achieved. If you cannot eliminate gumminess using standard bakery technology methods, reduce the level of egg replacer until the desired mouthfeel characteristics have been achieved.
- Alternatively, try BLUE155-A at 50% replacement of eggs, and add a slight amount of xanthan gum.
Address the surface texture and appearance characteristics
Soy-based egg replacers tend to resist browning.
- Replacing some of the sugar with dextrose will help to restore the darker color
- Slight increase in bake time can improve browning characteristics
- Beta carotene or other coloring can achieve a bright yellow appearance, if that is desired