Industry Focus: Egg Substitutes
Various outbreaks of avian flu in the recent past has impacted on the egg production industry to varying extents. The low production of eggs has resulted in an increase in price. This has led to a growing need for manufacturers and food tech companies to come up with plausible egg substitutes. Needless to say, this has resulted in the exponential growth of the egg substitute industry. Due to this growth, there have emerged several job opportunities and career paths that are worth pursuing.
Why use egg substitutes?
Apart from the rising price of eggs, people may choose to avoid eggs for a variety of other reasons. Some may simply not like eggs, while others may be allergic to them. There are also those who view eggs to be fattening due to their high cholesterol levels, and therefore choose to avoid them.
There are various health reasons for a low cholesterol diet. Most egg substitutes contain egg whites but lack the yolk which usually contains the bulk of the cholesterol content.
Such substitutes are unsuitable for vegans and people with egg allergies. However, there are those which are egg free.
What are some egg substitutes?
Although over the years people have come up with several natural replacements for eggs such as bananas, flax seed, chia seeds, applesauce and the now popular aquafaba, the manufactured egg substitutes are still used by many. These substitutes include but are not limited to the following.
- Ener- G Egg Replacer
- This egg replacer is gluten free, egg free, cholesterol free and casein free. It is made of potato and tapioca starch and is exclusively for baking. It is suitable for vegans and those who are allergic to eggs.
- This substitute can be used for anything, be it scrambling or baking. This product is especially loved by vegans.
- Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
- This egg substitute is strictly vegetarian and can be used for baking.
- The Neat Egg Substitute
- This substitute is only made of chia seeds and garbanzo beans. It is used for baking cakes, muffins, brownies and so on.
- Egg Beaters
- This substitute is made up of 99% egg whites and is for those avoiding egg yolks, which are associated with high levels of fat and cholesterol.
How healthy are egg substitutes?
As much as substitutes may taste or simulate whole eggs, there is a difference in nutritional value. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, egg substitutes are not necessarily unhealthy, but they may not contain all the nutrients that whole eggs contain.
Whole eggs contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, folic acid and riboflavin. This may be absent in egg alternatives. However, because most of these substitutes contain egg whites, they provide as much protein as whole eggs.
These substitutes may be good for those keeping to a low cholesterol diet, but it is advisable to check the label on the product before purchasing to ensure the presence of other important nutrients.
It is also important to note that studies have shown that eggs laid by hens that are allowed to roam round in the sun contain more nutrients than those not allowed to do so. Therefore, for maximum nutrition, it is advisable to consume whole eggs from such hens.
According to Market Research Future, the egg replacement market is divided into segments according to raw materials, applications, regions, and forms. According to forms, this market is divided into the liquid substitutes segment, powder substitute segment, and others.
According to raw materials, the segments include dairy protein, starch, soy-based products, algal flour and yeast products, and others. According to applications, segments include bakery and confectionery, savories and snacks, sauces and spreads, and others.
The region segments include North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and China. According to raw materials, the dairy protein segment dominates the market. However, the soy-based products segment is expected to have the highest growth rate due to an increase of people following gluten free and vegan diets.
In the case of form, liquid substitutes will continue to dominate due to their convenience. By application, the bakery and confectionery segment will dominate due to increased demand for vegan products.
In the case of regions, the Asia Pacific region leads in this market, followed by the North American region. However, Europe is expected to experience the fastest market growth. Additionally, continued health awareness and rising egg prices are expected to lead to growth of the egg replacer market
Companies in this industry
There are many companies in this industry. However, the key players include:
- Puratos Group
- This is an international company based in Belgium. However, it has subsidiaries all over the world, including the U.S. It provides artisans, retailers, industries, and people in food service with services and products that allow them to produce delicious and nutritious foods. Some of its products include bread mixes and bread improvers. It provides ingredients to companies that manufacture egg substitutes.
- Archer Daniels Midland Company
- This is another ingredient supplying company that supplies a variety of food ingredients globally. This U.S based company was founded in 1902 and serves 160 countries. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the leading food ingredient providers
- Tate & Lyle PLC
- This U.K based company provides ingredients and technical know- how for the food industries. It provides expertise in bakery and snacks, confectionery and other sectors. This company prides itself on providing highly nutritious products, and its subsidiaries are located all over the world.
- Arla Foods
- This company is based in Denmark and is owned by dairy farmers. It is known for producing dairy products and milk-based It is important to note that a lot of egg replacers are manufactured using milk-based ingredients. It has a branch in the U.K.
- Ener-G Foods
- This U.S based company is known for producing allergen-free products since 1962. It produces a variety of wheat free, gluten free, dairy free and even egg free products. It is known for its highly popular Ener-G egg replacer.
Job opportunities in this industry
In this constantly growing industry, the job opportunities are endless. Here are a few.
Quality managers are entrusted with maintaining the high quality standards within the production plants and training of personnel amongst other responsibilities. To qualify for such a position, a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in Food Science is the best way to go. One should also have extensive experience in different areas of the food industry already.
Nutrition scientists are involved in developing new products and ensuring their nutritional value. Candidates should have a degree in Nutrition or a related field. A strong foundation and experience in the food ingredients industry are a great bonus.
Health and Safety Coordinator
Food companies require health and safety coordinators to ensure the safety of employees involved in the production of products. Ideal candidates have a background in health and safety. This job entails designing safety measurements, investigating accidents and continuously ensuring high production standards.
To pursue a career in this industry, you will most likely need some form of education in Food Science, Nutrition or a related field. People who are specialized in fields such as engineering and business can also find meaningful employment in the industry.
Experience in the food industry will, however, offer a competitive advantage. There are several university programs that will come in useful in this industry. Here are a few:
University of Surrey: Nutrition and Food Science BSc (Hons)
Leeds University: BSc Food Science and Nutrition
University of Nottingham: BSc (Hons) Food Science
The University of British Columbia: Food Science, Nutrition & Health (BSc)
University of Maryland: BSc Nutrition and Food Science
Leeds University: MSc Food Science and Nutrition
University of Huddersfield: Ph.D. in Food Sciences
University of Minnesota: Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
More and more people are leaning towards a vegan lifestyle. With this change, the demand for egg substitutes and other substitutes for animal products is increasing. This has led to exponential growth in the industry, providing fresh graduates with numerous job opportunities. For updates on such job opportunities, you can subscribe to our newsletter, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.