American Egg Board is releasing a new white paper detailing the functional benefits real egg ingredients provide to gluten-free formulating. This timely paper coincides with the FDA regulatory deadline regarding gluten-free food labeling, which went into effect on August 5, 2014. FDA stipulated a threshold of less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in order for a packaged food or beverage to post a gluten-free label.
Ingredient choices are critical not only to comply with the ruling for labeling, but also to create a product with desired texture, mouthfeel, taste and shelf life. This new white paper explains how REAL eggs qualify as gluten-free ingredients and details some of the 20-plus functional benefits egg ingredients supply formulations. Texture can be a particular challenge in gluten-free formulating when wheat gluten and wheat’s protein are absent. Egg ingredients can help with appearance, texture and taste for gluten-free products, ranging from baking applications to pasta, sauces and meats.
Egg protein can help replace the functionality normally supplied by wheat gluten in baking applications. When wheat flour is replaced by a combination of other, non-gluten containing flours such as rice or tapioca, the blend of flours normally will not reach the protein level provided by wheat flour. Standard wheat flour ranges from 9%-15% protein and egg ingredients can help supply some of that missing protein. In addition, egg proteins supply critical functions such as binding, moisture and air micelle formation to help gluten-free bread, muffins and cookies attain proper volume and shape.
Varying levels of egg ingredients are recommended in gluten-free baking formulations depending on the application and type of functionality required. A product developer would use a greater percentage basis of egg ingredients in a formulation that requires binding and aeration for texture and appearance, than one that just requires binding. For example, cookies and cakes would require a higher percentage basis of eggs in formulation than a pizza crust, which would use egg ingredients primarily for their binding capabilities.
“That’s the beauty of egg ingredients in formulation scenarios such as gluten-free,” said Elisa Maloberti, AEB director of egg product marketing. “Product developers in the gluten-free category can find it challenging to create the proper taste and texture when wheat is absent and this can cause the ingredient list to grow. Because egg ingredients supply multiple functional benefits, formulators can trim the ingredient list while offering a great-tasting and fully gluten-free compliant product.”
Although baked goods and pasta products comprise the majority of gluten-free food solutions, other products that typically contain gluten or might contain gluten can benefit from egg ingredient functionality as well, including meat and sauce applications.
To download the new white paper from American Egg Board about gluten-free formulating, or for studies about egg ingredient functionality, visit aeb.org/Gluten-Free.