Egg white powder
Egg whites are dehydrated and ground into a powder to produce egg white powder. Powdered egg whites or egg white powder are sold as spray-dried egg whites and spray- dried albumin. Since egg white is often taken as a supplement, it is also sold as egg white protein or egg white protein powder. Egg white protein is a protein of choice for muscle builders.
The first step in the process is the breaking of the eggs. There are 3 main fractions- egg white, egg yolk and whole egg. The white fraction is the one used for the production of albumen powder. The fractionation is achieved by breaking the egg over a small cup which only holds the egg yolk allowing for a vessel under this cup to collect the egg white.
The egg white is then filtered to get rid of any residual pieces of eggshell or other large contaminants. Afterwards, it is pumped to storage tanks where the pH is adjusted, using citric acid, and stored until the egg white is to be used in the production. Next, the egg white is transferred to a separator which further separates any remnants of eggshell or other physical residues. The egg white is subjected to a reverse osmosis treatment which increases the dry weight.
After the concentration, the next goal of the process is to break down the glucose and fat present in the egg white. Glucose is removed by adding either enzymes or bacteria. Fat is removed by adding lipase this procedure is performed in fermentation tanks. The time required is 24 hrs. Glucose content should be monitored.
After fermentation pH is corrected using lactic acid. The egg white is then pumped to a cooling tank where the temperature is lowered to 4 degrees Celsius (chilling).
Finally, the liquid egg white is transformed into albumen powder using a box spray dryer. The process is known as spray drying. In spray drying dry heating is done in large conical dry blenders (87 degrees Celsius for 12 hours)
Advantages of egg white powder:
- It Can be stored and transported in room temperature.
- It has a good shelf life.
- Storage takes less space.
- Can be stored without refrigeration. So, it saves energy.