Functional uses of egg products in the bakery sector

Properties such as binding, emulsification, coagulation and adhesion are integral to the production of a large number of food products in the bakery sector.

Functional uses include:


  • Egg added to the recipe acts as a humectant, trapping moisture in starch molecules to prolong shelf life while preventing products from becoming soggy.
  • The addition of egg keeps a stable pH in bread products.
  • Standard bread and rolls are given an egg wash to brown and glaze the crust, locking in flavour and aroma.
  • In speciality breads and rolls, egg gives flavour and structure as well as allowing ingredients such as seeds and grains to adhere to the bread.
  • All breads are given body, softness and smoothness by the addition of egg to the recipe.

Cakes and other baked products

  • Cakes of all kinds depend on eggs to achieve volume and height. Egg proteins create foam, which results in a lighter and airier cake with a solid structure.
  • Meringues and other light items are aerated by the foaming effect of egg.
  • Binding in cakes, pastries, muffins and other bakes products can only be achieved through the use of egg, which gives a more desirable texture.
  • The addition of egg carries and enhances flavours in the product.

Frostings and icings

  • Frostings, icings and fillings are improved by the addition of egg products. Egg proteins coagulate from a fluid state to a gel, which acts to thicken and the recipe.
  • Proteins in egg white prevent sugar crystallisation and promote smoothness in the finished product.

Custard fillings

  • The coagulating effect of egg acts to gel the filling and add richness.
  • Phospholipids and lipoproteins found in egg act as emulsifiers, maintaining oil and water emulsions to stabilise custards.
  • Xanthophyll pigments in egg yolk give a rich yellow colour to custard fillings.

Frozen bakery products

  • To prevent thawed products from becoming soggy, egg proteins act as insulators to maintain texture and palatability.
  • Control of crystallisation in frozen products is achieved by the addition of egg proteins, which stabilises the product during reheating and baking.

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Posted on: 20 December 2017